Coronavirus: Homeless Peterborough family feel ‘trapped’ in hostel where ‘social distancing is ignored’

The parent of two young children who are all living in a Peterborough hostel said they feel ‘trapped’ due to other tenants allegedly failing to carry out social distancing.

Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 5:10 am

The parent, who did not wish to be named, said the shared facilities at Hope House in High Street, Fletton, always have people in them who are not standing more than two metres apart as requested by the Government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

They also claimed that there was excessive drinking and regular drug taking when staff from hostel managers Cross Keys Homes leave at 5pm every day.

Police have been called in to issue a warning to the homeless residents at the temporary accommodation.

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Hope House in Fletton

The Peterborough Telegraph has seen photos of groups of people together but is not publishing them to protect people’s identities.

The parent said: “Since the beginning they’ve been smoking drugs and drinking a lot and now with Covid-19 it’s become far worse because people aren’t following the guidance which puts us in danger.

“I’ve reported it to the council who contacted the management.

“As soon as the staff leave at 5pm people are smoking and drinking and not standing two metres apart. When I go into the kitchen they don’t care.

“We can’t bid for properties at the moment so we are stuck in a single room. I don’t know how long we will be here for. I’m very drained.

“I have to cook, shower and wash clothes, but every time I leave the room there’s someone outside. I will keep the distance but they won’t.

“Other families are also living in the same situation and we’re all very worried.”

A Peterborough City Council spokesperson said: “During the Covid-19 outbreak we are operating under government advice not to move people from place to place and to instead support them as much as we can in their current accommodation.

“We are working closely with housing providers across the city and other organisations, such as the police, charities and partnership groups to do this.”

A Cross Keys Homes spokesperson said: “We appreciate that being in short stay accommodation is very stressful at all times and especially at the moment. Our teams are doing all they can to educate residents about the need for social distancing, and this includes our night security team.

“We also were very pleased to receive a visit from the local neighbourhood policing team who reinforced the need for social distancing to our residents.

“Our teams remain on hand to support families through this difficult time, and we understand that the need to stay indoors is adding pressure to families. We are doing everything we can to keep people safe but we are reliant on people being sensible and following government guidance.

“We do not tolerate drug taking or drunkenness in our hostels and all reports of such activities are dealt with appropriately.

“Allocation of housing to people in short stay accommodation is managed by Peterborough City Council. We understand they are doing all they can to get people into alternative housing, but their Choice Based Letting service is currently closed due to coronavirus.”