A winter shelter run by SHP in Redbridge has increased its capacity by almost 20 places in order to step up support for rough sleepers during the COVID-19 crisis.  

The Ryedale centre in Ilford, which first opened in December 2018 as a winter night shelter with beds for 32 people, can now support a total of 50 rough sleepers after Redbridge Council tasked SHP with expanding the service. 

Temporary accommodation in the same building, previously held in reserve for families, has been freed up to increase the capacity of the serviceA kitchen space has been made available so that, in addition to en-suite rooms, an in-house catering service can provide clients with three meals a day. 

The move follows the announcement of emergency government funding to support local authorities to take swift action so that people sleeping on the streets can successfully self-isolate. 

SHP Assistant Director Mark Taylor-Kirk said: “Rough sleepers are among those most at risk of infection and most vulnerable to the potential effects of COVID 19.  Thanks to the exceptional measures taken by central government, GLA and Redbridge Council we have been able to act quickly to get rough sleepers off the streets and into accommodation where they are able to the follow public health guidance and keep safe.”