CORONAVIRUS has left homelessness hostels facing an “unprecedented crisis”, Centrepoints's chief executive has warned.

The charity says homelessness organisations will be unable to protect their staff from illness and mean some of the country’s most vulnerable people are unable to self-isolate.

Centrepoint has called on the government to: Make front line homeless service staff 'key workers'; Urgently deliver Protection Equipment to all homelessness service providers for staff, including thermometers and access to testing facilities and a financial support package for providers.

CEO Seyi Obakin said: “We are facing an unprecedented homelessness crisis in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The government has acted swiftly to provide measures for rough sleepers but has done nothing to support the tens of thousands of people who live and work in hostel accommodation.

“Without urgent action the government risks turning homelessness hostels into petri dishes. This will leave some of the country’s most vulnerable people unable to follow the government’s own guidelines and self-isolate and means asking dedicated hostel staff to put themselves and their families at risk as they do their vital work.”