8 January 2021

Here at WLM, we empower people affected by homelessness, poverty and trauma to make positive changes in their lives through our innovative range of services. Since 1887, we have supported thousands of individuals move away from the streets of London and into stable accommodation and employment. Even in the current challenging circumstances, we continue fulfilling our mission by supporting the most vulnerable of our society.

During the first lockdown and faithfully following the government directives, we had to temporarily suspend the operation of our physical services provided at WLM Seymour Place night centre, located in the heart of Marylebone, Westminster. Our food, health and employment provision was focused on supporting our service users remotely while they were self-isolating in their hotel rooms, striving to keep them safe and COVID19-free.

In December 2020, we re-opened our centre and launched the No Second Night Out project, providing vital interventions for anyone found on the street for the first time, in partnership with St Mungo’s. Our staff work incredibly hard to provide this vital support, sometimes at great personal risk.

People without a home are at high risk of harm from COVID-19. They are substantially more likely to report having chronic diseases such as asthma, COPD, heart problems and stroke. Research has also found that people with no home have an average of seven long-term health conditions, far higher than people in their 90s.

In addition, just as residents of care homes are at higher clinical risk of severe disease, so are those who use single homeless hostels and other shared homeless accommodation for rough sleepers. Correspondingly, frontline homelessness staff are at increased personal risk of exposure to infection and of transmitting that infection to the vulnerable people they work with.

We, therefore, ask that working with people experiencing homelessness is, as a matter of urgency, treated as a priority occupation for vaccination. At WLM, this would require approximately 95 members of staff receiving the vaccine. 

CEO of WLM, Roger Clark, said:

"We are supporting the Homeless Link campaign that the people who use our services and the people who work for us should be prioritised as part of the vaccine roll out as we believe that our mission to empower positive change is so much more achievable if we are able to protect everyone at WLM from coronavirus."

Please join Homeless Link call for vaccinations for homelessness workers HERE