As the global COVID-19 situation continues to evolve rapidly, we know that this is a difficult time for so many. 

As an organisation that work with isolated vulnerable young people and women we absolutely need to continue with our services. We not only have a duty to ensure that those people we are already supporting continue to be supported, but we must also make sure that young people and women who are at an increased risk of becoming homeless as a result of COVID-19 are able to get the support they need as soon as they need it.

Our essential services – 24 hour staffed young people’s accommodation, domestic abuse refuges and advice and crisis support services for young people and women who are at risk of homelessness or domestic abuse, including our Youth Homeless Helpline, simply must continue. 

Family relationship breakdown is one of the biggest causes of youth homelessness and self-isolation and social distancing measures could increase tensions for young people whose relationships at home are already strained. This could put even more young people at risk of becoming homeless, and we are determined to make sure that every young person who needs support receives support as soon as they need it. We’ll be ensuring that our Family Mediation services, Youth Homeless Helpline and other advice services continue to support young people, supporting them to stay at home wherever it’s safe for them to do so, or supporting them to find safe accommodation where they can’t.

Self isolation and social distancing are also likely to lead to an increase in the numbers of people affected by domestic abuse and needing domestic abuse services, and we will ensure that our drop-in services and domestic abuse refuges are able to support people who need our support whenever they need it.

We are working tirelessly to meet the increase in demand for information and support at the moment. We anticipate that over the coming months a significant number of our frontline colleagues will be unable to work directly in projects and will be working from home, either ill or self-isolating.  We are therefore cross training and re-deploying colleagues to ensure essential services keep running. 

Not only is this a significant logistical challenge for us, but one which will inevitably also come at an additional cost.

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