Call for submissions to new Dying Homeless memorial site

Call for submissions to new Dying Homeless memorial site
9th April 2020 Jessica Turtle

Call for submissions to the Dying Homeless Project

The national emergency created by Covid-19 is hitting the most vulnerable members of society the hardest. It is in this climate that MoH is launching it’s new memorial site to remember those who have died homeless in the UK.

We were about to launch the site last month just before the outbreak of coronavirus but delayed it as our community responded to the crisis. The current information shown captures everyone we know about up until 31st December 2019. In total we have lost 1468 people since the project began in late 2017, many far before their time.

We are launching the memorial site now to call on everyone to submit to the project so that we can honour and document those we lose to COVID-19 and more widely. Importantly, for the duration of the pandemic, we are partnering with the UCL Collaborative Centre for Inclusion Health. This team is led by Professor Andrew Hayward and Dr Al Story who rapidly developed the clinical plan for COVID-19 and homelessness which we believe has already saved countless lives.

With the team at UCL, we will be able to campaign for and rapidly implement changes to how authorities are responding to the pandemic in order to prevent unnecessary deaths. It is vital at this time that we record to ensure lessons from the response are learned and the lives lost are not forgotten.

We hope that the site will also offer a space for people to grieve and remember those we have lost. It is very hard to attend funerals at the present time. The site offers people the opportunity to submit a memory or tribute and we hope that this will be useful for our community of people affected by homelessness, workers and volunteers.

Over the last 2 and a half  years, the Dying Homeless Project has tracked the number of people who die while homeless and verified the cause of death wherever possible. This includes people who are sleeping rough, sofa surfing, or in emergency or temporary accommodation.

As we gather names and stories during this difficult time, each case will be recorded and verified by the Museum of Homelessness, with input from charities or other groups, the coroners office or other officials.  Sensitive information will be redacted where necessary – or at the request of family members.  Our full privacy policy can be read here.

The project gives us with a baseline to understand the full impact of COVID-19 both in terms of those who die while being treated for the disease and any increase in fatalities more broadly. We will be updating the page regularly as the crisis develops.

This is a vital project that will help ensure the rights of homeless people are respected and we hold those responsible to account when they’re not.

You can help by reporting deaths of homeless people here.

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