26 Mar 2020

Continued support for rough sleepers and homeless outlined as city tackles Coronavirus

Coronavirus Homelessness Rough sleepers Housing Health

Council offers update on support for those who are homeless or rough sleeping during the current coronavirus crisis

Leeds City Council has today provided an update on its work to support those who are homeless or rough sleeping, as the city continues to meet the challenge of coronvirus.

Following new national guidance provided by government to tackle the spread of coronavirus, the council is currently working closely with a range of partners to ensure that the assistance which is available to those rough sleeping and homeless is both continued and in some aspects, further enhanced. To ensure that this does happen, the council is currently mobilising all available resources to support all targeted work undertaken during the impact of coronavirus.

The council is prioritising support for people who for a number of reasons, are sleeping rough on our streets and is committed to continuing to provide every opportunity for people to benefit from all the assistance that is available. Just some of the targeted and city-wide initiatives and projects that the council is also supporting to help those in need include the Leeds Homeless Charter and Big Change Leeds campaign.

In terms of outreach work, the Leeds Street Support Delivery Team and partners are continuing to be on the streets in the day and night and directly engaging, within the confines of the updated government guidance, with those in need. The council is continuing to offer people that are sleeping rough or homeless a variety of help. This includes access to permanent and overnight accommodation provided by charities, free food and tailored specialised assistance for those with addiction or other health needs.

The council is also assessing with partners including St George’s Crypt and St Anne’s Resource Centre, what additional measures can be introduced to stop the potential spreading of Coronavirus in the accommodation it offers. The authority has already secured additional emergency accommodation in response to the government’s announcement, which will be utilised to support rough sleepers and or homeless people. This approach has been taken to ensure we are responding in a way which helps prevent the potential spreading of the Coronavirus.

We would ask anyone who identifies as a rough sleeper/homeless, or if you would like to report any concerns regarding the welfare of anyone on the street, to please contact us as soon as possible at: 0113 2459445 or email: leeds.SOS@cgl.org.uk 

if you are risk of becoming homeless, please contact our dedicated Leeds Housing Options team at 0113 222 4412 or email: housing.options@leeds.gov.uk

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities said:

“We are absolutely committed to helping the most vulnerable in the city at this very challenging time. We would like to reassure people that we are maintaining, and in order to meet specifics issues relating to the coronavirus, enhancing our support for those who are rough sleeping and homeless.

“Our daily outreach and engagement work on the streets with those in need is continuing, and we are currently identifying alternative accommodation that can be used if demand becomes high in the upcoming days and weeks ahead. This joins the work that we are also undertaking with partners to minimise the potential spread of coronavirus at accommodation by introducing a number of steps that recognise and are in line with government guidance.

“We would urge anyone who is rough sleeping to please contact us as soon as possible so we can arrange both accommodation and support to meet your needs.”

Notes to editors:

In Leeds, a significant level of support is available to those who are rough sleeping or homeless. The council currently works with over 45 organisations to provide engagement, support and care for vulnerable individuals who are sleeping on Leeds’ streets.

Leeds Homeless Charter is a statement of a joint mission by voluntary, faith, private and public sector organisations, all committed to work together for the city: https://streetsupport.net/leeds/charter/

Big Change Leeds is a non-profit organisation that connects local businesses, charities and people to co-ordinate and provide better help and support for vulnerable people on the streets of Leeds: http://www.bigchangeleeds.co.uk/


Leeds City Council communications officer.

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk

Tel: 0113 378 9170

For media enquiries contact:

Colin Dickinson
Leeds City Council