Northampton's rough sleepers will receive vaccine as part of 'Everyone In' shelter scheme until end of lockdown
Homeless people in Northampton will have the choice to spend the remainder of the lockdown off the streets
Northampton's rough sleepers will be able to spend the final 10 weeks of the winter lockdown off the streets in university accommodation.
The town's Single Homelessness Forum has confirmed it will open the doors of a University of Northampton halls of residence starting January 19.
But the plan will also make special arrangements to ensure that everyone staying with the scheme will be registered with a GP and receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Chair of the Single Homelessness Forum Reverend Sue Faulkner said: "This COVID-19 pandemic, and our response to it, has shown us that rough sleeping isn’t inevitable and that, if we all work together, we can break this vicious circle, keep people safe and prevent rough sleepers from returning to the street."
People who opt to stay at the halls will also be provided free toiletries, fresh clothing, a regular laundry service, a daily cooked evening meal and access to physical, mental and substance-rehabilitation support until the end of lockdown on April 1.
It comes after a similar scheme ran for over eight months with the start of the first lockdown in March 2020, and led to more than 80 people being moved on into permanent accommodation.
Reverend Faulkner said: "During the first ‘'Everyone In' initiative, it was humbling to observe the huge, positive changes that so many entrenched rough sleepers made to their lives and it was heartening to hear how determined they were to make the most of the opportunity to receive the help, support and housing they needed.
"I am delighted it has been possible to introduce this second ‘Everyone In' initiative because it provides us with the opportunity to keep rough sleepers safe and to make even more progress in our efforts to reduce the number of long-term rough sleepers and people who are repeatedly sleep rough in Northampton."