May
22
2020
Author
Sarah Walters
Shaken and stirred

The impact of COVID-19 has been huge across every part of civil society - every sector and region has been affected, with economic and social consequences that will last far beyond the time when the R rate reduces.  Such shaking has shown up the cracks. For those who are homelessness or precariously housed, managing on a low income, or with insecure immigration status, the challenges are now even greater.

With rising demands on church resources, there are some delicate decisions to be made around how best to meet need, how to prioritise and decide the urgent from the important, and how to spend money wisely.  Such decisions arise in an uncertain climate, with no timescale for how long these conditions will be in place or how giving and donations will be affected.

And, yet, there is a tremendous opportunity to do some immediate good.

Such shaking has stirred rapid generosity from many, varied quarters - and there is some financial help out there to increase the capacity and reach of local charities.

As part of the Crisis Best Practice Team, I’ve recently been involved in a Grant Programme which gave out over £1.8m to over 200 charities across the UK who were facing increasing financial pressures in supporting people experiencing homelessness through C19. We provided funds to a range of organisations, including those having to adapt their food provision to individual take away rather than feeding people together, to charities re-purposing their buildings to allow for self-isolation, funding large amounts of PPE, to those coordinating food provision for the most needy across a London borough, and towards funding new posts to support those now in temporary accommodation who were previously sleeping rough, and many more.

Please note - before my inbox overspills further! - that Grant Programme has now paused.

However, there are other funds and resources available which can make a huge difference both to the beneficiaries and to the organisation itself. Take a look at:

Homeless Response Fund
ACT FAST: The COVID-19 Homelessness Response Fund opened on 14 May 2020 and the application window closes on Wednesday 27 May 2020. All successful awards must be spent by 30 October 2020. There is a fund of £6m which will be distributed between successful applicants. Applicants must be frontline organisations working directly with people experiencing homelessness where more than 50 per cent of beneficiaries are people experiencing homelessness. Applicants must incorporated charitable organisations with an annual turnover of less than £5 million. Learn more...

London Community Response Fund
Crisis resonse grants of up to £10,000 are available for London projects only. Learn more...

Frontline Network
Applications are accepted from paid frontline workers who provide support to people experiencing homelessness or whose accommodation might be at risk. Learn more...

Charity Excellence
Free access to a COVID19 funder database, and lots of resources on how to deal with C19 impact. Learn more...

Crisis sees a huge opportunity to change our approach to housing and homelessness and use the current climate - with people being temporarily housed - as a springboard to end homelessness rather than sending people back to the street. We are about to launch another, larger grant programme which will help charities to refocus their work on housing transformation in their area, with all the associated changes to support and infrastructure that will be required.

Be stirred in these shaken times! There is a tantalising prospect of real change ahead.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by guest contributors are those of the author. Although broadly in keeping with the objectives of Jubilee+, the views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Jubilee+ team and directors and/or other contributors to this site.

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