Leeds charity housing homeless people in city hotel during coronavirus outbreak

Leeds homeless charity St George's Crypt is using a city hotel to house more than 30 people.

Saturday, 28th March 2020, 6:00 am

A total of 33 homeless people who were sleeping in a dormitory at the crypt in Leeds city centre have been moved to a hotel, where they are staying in single rooms.

The move has been made as it was not possible for people to comply with social distancing in the dormitory.

Andrew Ormond, the crypt's head of marketing and public relations, said 15 people using single rooms at the crypt will continue to be housed there.

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St George's Crypt in Leeds city centre.

The dormitory is not currently being used but is on standby ready for use if needed.

Mr Ormond said: "We as a city have been working round the clock to sort out a solution that protects our guys, stops them from having to share confined spaces whilst they sleep and limits the spread of infection, if it takes hold.

"Up to this point we have not had anyone displaying symptoms but we will remain vigilant.

"Working together with Leeds City Council and a range of other agencies we have agreed to house all our clients who were staying in our dormitory beds in a local hotel.

"From there they will be able to self-isolate if needs be.

"Our staff team will be working with the council and other agencies onsite every day.

"This is a great response from the city as a whole and a clear sign that we are working better together to provide safety and security for Leeds’ homeless and vulnerable population in these difficult times.

Mr Ormond added: "We work with people who are homeless, people with histories of homelessness and alcoholism, people recovering from alcohol and drug addiction trying to put their lives back together; they need constant support and encouragement to establish a strong foundation.

"They need continued love and care to positively build. They need an ongoing package to successfully move back into communities.

"We will all find it difficult to be socially isolated, not able to see the ones we love face to face, spend time doing the things we love, that keep us sane.

"Imagine if you have a history of anxiety, depression, mental and physical health needs, a history of addiction, the list goes on.

"Our clients are exceptionally vulnerable, they are marginalised by society, they feel below the bottom rung and for these reasons are likely to suffer massively from the new restrictions."