As Covid-19 took hold of the UK, many came together to provide shelter for the most vulnerable. 15,000 homeless people were given a roof over their head and an ambition of the entire homelessness and housing sector was achieved almost overnight.
Whilst the response to the pandemic has initially taken people off the streets, postponed evictions and kept people in employment, there is a risk that this progress could unravel. Looking to avoid this, one housing association, Flagship Group, has used Covid-19 as an opportunity to bring forward its Hopestead initiative, with a goal to end homelessness in the East of England.
“We didn’t expect to launch Hopestead so soon. However, due to the pandemic, we had to think differently and ask ourselves what else we can do now. We know Covid-19 has the potential to further increase homelessness, particularly with social renters being most at risk. By working together with likeminded organisations, we can ensure everyone has a place to call home.” -Managing Director of Hopestead, Marie Claire Delbrouque
Throughout lockdown, the initiative provided financial and welfare support to Flagship customers, at a time when they needed it most:
“It’s just been lovely to help people and take the financial worry away from them. Hopestead has been the difference between people keeping their homes and not,” said Diane Monument, Housing Officer at Flagship.
Flagship, whose goal is to solve the housing crisis in the East of England, will soon launch Hopestead as its new charity committed to ending homelessness in the region. Follow @_Hopestead on Twitter for updates.
Originally printed in Just Regional – Norfolk magazine