Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) and its partners have been working to identify and provide self-contained accommodation for rough sleepers and tenants of homeless hostels who find it difficult to self-isolate and practice social distancing in their current environment.
The Government recognises rough sleepers as particularly vulnerable to Coronavirus and SWT are doing all they can to provide suitable accommodation quickly, to enable them to keep safe during this outbreak.
Bridgwater and Taunton College have offered use of their Canonsgrove halls of residence in Trull, and the YMCA Dulverton Group have at short notice, stepped in to manage this site on the Council’s behalf as well as making their Beach hotel in Minehead available.
From the middle of this week, SWT will invite rough sleepers from Somerset West and Taunton into Canonsgrove, where they will provide them with three meals a day and support services tailored for their needs.
Local homeless charity Arc will also be supporting and encouraging clients from all of their properties to move to Canonsgrove.
This will ensure that those at high risk have option to self-isolate and will provide a more suitable setting for social distancing measures.
A whole range of other organisations have been working with SWT at very short notice to donate their time and support to make this possible and ensure that the new residents of Canonsgrove will receive the right support once they move in.
These include Raft, the Salvation Army, Open Door, Turning Point, Arc and many statutory bodies.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts, said: “The Council would like to pass on its thanks to the YMCA and all of these organisations for their amazing help at this difficult time.”