Amy Varle: housing rough sleepers
In the UK today an estimated 320,000 people are homeless and this number is steadily rising. With little or no access to clean water to wash hands, shelter to self-isolate, or food during lockdown, the homeless community is one of the most vulnerable during the pandemic. Government services and charities have responded with support and accommodation but often this is not joined up and homeless people can easily fall through the cracks.
Housing consultant and homelessness campaigner Amy Varle from Bury, Greater Manchester, has been reaching out to colleagues and partner organisations across her sector to help identify and house every homeless person across Manchester during the pandemic.
On a national scale, she is working to bring together practitioners, charities and services across the UK to share knowledge and resources and create a framework for best practice in homelessness response. She will use her grant to develop this work and create a technological hub of expertise, skills and resources to provide up-to-date support and guidance to services across the UK as well as for homeless people themselves. Her aim is to provide this centralised and digitised hub so that services can co-ordinate and collaborate more easily and no homeless people are neglected. Amy's Churchill Fellowship to the USA explored pioneering strategies for 21st-century homeless prevention and response. It was supported by the National Housing Federation.