Around 500 homeless people moved into emergency accommodation during pandemic

Hundreds of people who have been sleeping rough or living in unsuitable accommodation in Wales have been moved into emergency accommodation during the pandemic. The accommodation includes hotels and B&Bs as well as social, private rented or supported housing.

Katie Dalton, director of Cymorth Cymru, said: "This pandemic has been extremely worrying for everyone, but it is particularly difficult for people who are experiencing homelessness.

"And even when people are offered accommodation, their experiences of childhood trauma, mental health and addiction issues mean that self-isolation can be really challenging."

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Katie Dalton said one of the greatest challenges is how to ensure that people in emergency accommodation can access more permanent housing and support when lockdown comes to an end.

Katie added: "Discussions have already started between Welsh Government, local authorities, housing and support providers but it will need a huge, coordinated effort to make this a reality."

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The Welsh Government recently made a £10 million emergency fund available to local authorities to help provide support, access to health care and housing for those sleeping rough.

Another issue is that of 'hidden homelessness' where people sofa surf or stay somewhere temporarily like a hostel, night shelter or bed & breakfast.

The lockdown measures, social distancing and self-isolation have made life more challenging for people in these situations, so some have been approaching local authorities for housing and support during the pandemic.

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

If you see somebody sleeping rough in Wales, you can alert your local authority through the Streetlink app. A member of the outreach team will then come to offer the person housing and support.