HOTEL managers who continue to provide a home for rough sleepers during the coronavirus pandemic would be 'sad' to see them back on the streets too soon.

The Fownes Hotel in Worcester has provided food and shelter for 45 rough sleepers but a charity is concerned they will soon on the streets once more if urgent Government funding does not arrive before the end of this month. Crisis said contracts between councils and hotels are due to terminate at the end of June due to current Government money running out. Almost 15,000 people were moved into emergency accommodation such as hotels during the coronavirus outbreak.

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The Government allocated £3.2 million in March to address homelessness, but Crisis said this would have been spent by councils within days. A larger pot has been made available but local authorities are facing competing claims on their resources. However, Worcester City Council is in talks to make sure there is an exit strategy and that as many as possible can be found permanent homes. Julie Merrick, assistant manager at the Fownes, said: "We would be sad to see the homeless guests returned to the streets too soon. We hope that after all the hard work Fownes staff and CCP has done over the past few months housing the homeless guests, that they are re-housed and given a fresh start to continue the progress they have made.

"We hope that, with the compassion Fownes staff have shown the homeless guests that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and they continue to improve. We hope your readers remember that when you see an homeless person, a smile and a word of kindness can make a big difference in a person's day which is full of hardship. Above all, avoid stereotyping or stigmatising the homeless. There are many paths that lead to homelessness, and each person has a different story."

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A Worcester City Council spokesman said: “We are working with a range of partners across the local government and voluntary sectors to develop an exit strategy to ensure as many people as possible are offered suitable long-term accommodation when these placements end.

"This includes developing personal housing plans with individuals to ensure services understand and can meet their needs and aspirations. Senior council officers are in discussions with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).”