A charity that helps the homeless in Wycombe and the surrounding areas has launched a hotline due to the coronavirus.

The Wycombe Homeless Connection, which is based in Castle Street, also announced that they have had to shut their support centre, ‘to reduce the risk to their vulnerable clients and staff’, as the country battles the COVID19 pandemic.

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James Boultbee, the charity’s CEO said: “While legislation is meant to be coming to prevent the eviction of tenants, we know that even if that happens, there will still be many, many people facing the loss of their home at this very dangerous time.

“Since the crisis started, we have seen an increase in requests for advice from people who have been sofa surfing and asked to leave.

“And even more worryingly, we are hearing of NHS workers who are being threatened with eviction by landlords who say they don’t want the frontline healthcare workers to bring coronavirus into their houses.

“We have opened this hotline to offer our expert advice and support to people to fight these unfair evictions.

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“It’s costing us much more to put our most vulnerable clients in suitable safe accommodation and to run our services online.

“We are waiting to hear from the government for financial support and guidance.

“We are a small, local charity and need our community’s support more than ever.

“Please, dig deep and give to our urgent appeal.”

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The Wycombe Homeless Connection has raised thousands of pounds since its foundation back in 2007, and for the last four years, the charity has organised a fundraiser called, ‘The Big Sleep Out’.

This is where residents from all over the county sign up and sleep in a specific area in sleeping bags and boxes, to raise awareness and emulate what homeless people go through on a regular basis.

Last year, Wycombe’s Big Sleep Out took place at Adams Park, where 150 people participated.

James continued: “We are also working as hard as ever to serve people who are sleeping rough.

“If you are homeless, or facing eviction you can call us on weekdays, 10am – 4pm on 01494 447699 or email us on contact@wyhoc.org.uk and we will do what we can to help you.”

Visit www.wyhoc.org.uk for more information.