Coronavirus: As death rates rise, the UK’s hidden homeless are forgotten – BBC Newsnight

published on July 25, 2020

It's about the houses nobody's listening to me nobody's taking my voice nobody's literally caring yeah that's how I feel Alice was a carer working with the elderly that was until November last year when she says she had an accident I

Was walking coming from a shift from work and I slipped and I fell backwards and I was unconscious since then Alice has had memory problems and says she's unable to hold down her job when she couldn't stay with friends she'd sleep

Rough why a woman from my own experience sleeping rough was very scary it was very scary and that was the darkest moment of my life and I can't believe the point where I was at Alice is now in temporary

Accommodation but trying to keep social distancing in a communal living space is proving difficult how many people share the kitchen how many as soon as I walk out of my room I can't

Self-isolation I can't people are so close to me on the stairs people are so close to me downstairs on a scone seat on the bench that's trying to get fresh people when I get close to me too close to me do you think that

It's right that you are living in a place where you literally can't physically follow the guidance that's meant to keep you safe I have sleepless nights I can't sleep and I am just crying and crying and crying and I'm

Just I'm tired of actually crying I am forgotten I am forgotten the homeless charity shelter believes there are nearly 300,000 so-called hidden homeless in England alone so the number of people rough sleeping it's

Just the tip of the iceberg most people who were homeless a hidden homeless they're in temporary accommodation they're in hostels they're in B and B's and for many of them it's simply impossible to follow the government's

Own guidance and keep themselves safe well we're not around 60% of related to covert 19 and we're hearing from families who are in an absolute state of abject figure really so if definitely thinking for example on the same

Corridor moving sharing facilities with a family that is isolating because of the how do they keep their distance from that family wendy was evicted from her flats last year the council was home to her and her 11 year old daughter in this

Room it's hard to see how if one of them got ill the other could self isolates here and there are the same problems with a shared kitchen so as your daughter's in the same room same room on one bed one broken bed so you sleep in

The same bed together same bed together I know the impact she do talk about it and she saw me cry as well so she know that it is a bit distressing and she always asks me mummy okay mummy okay I am okay because I try to stay strong for

Her I think this is a very serious public health issue because people who are living in very confined spaces with shared facilities in a time where you have a very rapid and efficient spread of a virus like coronavirus means that

Actually they are very vulnerable to having significant spread within those confined spaces and this means that actually these people are taking the burden of the disease Wendy works with kids in care on a zero

Hours contract she hasn't worked for three weeks afraid that she might catch a virus and would therefore be unable to South isolate from her daughter you're a key worker you've done a lot of good yes and I volunteer with food bank I

Volunteer for homeless do you feel like society is almost sort of forgotten about you I felt let down in a way where I yes where I see you how I my heart is and the things that I do and we are put out

But yeah this is just the world that we're living in now no one cares Wendy and Alice are hopeful they'll be placed in more suitable accommodation soon but their circumstances make a mockery of the idea

That we're all in this together there's an assumption that staying home saves lives but for hundreds of thousands of people in temporary accommodation across the country staying at home isn't safe either

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