Our response to COVID-19 and homelessness
During lockdown 1….
with our homeless taskforce partners we took over an empty community centre and prepared and dispatched 8956 care packs and nutritious meals to people in the emergency accommodation and to people on the streets.
We were on the streets every single day. Our aim was simple – to ensure no one in our community faces this alone.
For lockdown 2/Winter 2021
The winter lockdown was very very tough for people living outside. Shops, Libraries and Day Centres were all shut, meaning people were outside 24/7. With our taskforce partners we got essential supplies out to people sleeping rough in London’s West End 4 nights a week. We operated street solidarity and checked in with people at their sleepsites at the end of the day on the deserted streets of Westminster. This meant 4774 bedtime check ins with people living outside over the winter. We also spent Christmas Day out with the community. Our Winter operation finished on Easter Monday when restrictions started to ease and the West End became more populated again with shops open.
The work is not over. We continue to operate a rapid response, creatively and quickly responding to what is most needed on the ground. In 2022 we have worked with partners to pilot a street vaccination clinic and a street immigration clinic for EU citizens who are homeless, particularly the Roma Community in central London.
After a year of pure emergency response, we have also restarted our creative and heritage work. We are developing a major artistic project Reframe the Narrative for Autumn 2021. Reframe the Narrative will tell stories of the pandemic that would otherwise go unheard. We are also working hard on our Dying Homeless Project, which aims to remember with love everyone who dies homeless in the UK whilst campaigning to prevent further deaths.
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Notes on our finances
We are a tiny grassroots charity and we keep things really lean financially. Only 11% of our expenditure is on running costs such as insurance and office rent, compared to 40% in other charities our size. (source: Channel 4 fact check)
There are no large salaries or big overheads. We have a flat pay policy designed by our community, set at national average wage. Everyone is paid the same no matter their role. Nor do we spend money on fundraising or marketing. Our funds go on making amazing creative and heritage activity, campaigning for change and supporting our community members with paid work, bursaries or essentials like travel costs.
We are very grateful for the support of our funding partners: