There are still “far too many” homeless people on the streets, unable to follow government guidelines on coronavirus, warned charities.
The government said last month that it wanted to see all the heavy sleepers accommodated in a weekend.
In London, more than 1,000 people sleeping on the streets have been lodged in hotels, but it is estimated that there are still around 900 on the streets or in shared facilities.
Charities for the homeless warned against “any degree of complacency.”
According to the latest government figures, there were 4,266 gross sleepers in England in 2019, although BBC research has suggested that the actual figure could be more than five times higher.
The government announced on Wednesday that 90% of people sleeping on the streets have been sheltered.
But when asked how many people were sleeping on the street and when, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) declined to comment.
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Raw sleepers are particularly vulnerable during the current pandemic, as they are three times more likely to suffer from a chronic medical condition and are unable to isolate themselves or follow sanitation advice, according to Crisis.
Matt Downie, charity’s director of policy and external affairs, said the work to help the rude sleepers was “by no means finished.”
“We should not congratulate ourselves and be complacent, because the heavy sleepers who are still there are in absolutely desperate situations,” he said.
Jon Glackin, founder of Streets Kitchen, said there has been “brilliant work on the part of local authorities in this crisis, but it is not yet time to pat on the back [as] there are way too many people on the street who need help. “
He added that “it doesn’t feel like 90% of the homeless have disappeared from the streets”, while “the government’s estimate of the number of coarse sleepers may not be fair either.”
The 1,000 people sleeping in the capital who have stayed in hotels are the result of a joint £ 10.55 million initiative by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, the MHCLG and charities.
Homeless people with Covid-19 symptoms would be referred to a specialized care facility at a hotel in east London, said the mayor’s office.
According to city hall estimates, there are still around 900 people sleeping on the street or in collective housing for the homeless, although many of them can be helped by local programs beyond their control.
The Association of Local Authorities has asked that the councils receive more financial support from the government.
But the government has said it paid £ 1.6 billion to help the boards respond to the coronavirus.