Coronavirus: The Salvation Army ready to help most vulnerable

published on 5 Mar 2020

Serving hot coffee

The Salvation Army is ready to help people who are most vulnerable in communities across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The Salvation Army’s Assistant Director of Homelessness Services, Malcolm Page, said: “Sadly, rough sleepers are vulnerable to infection and disease and even without the coronavirus they die an average of thirty years earlier than the general population. We are especially worried about their vulnerability to the coronavirus as people forced to sleep rough do not have access to places to wash and keep dry and clean. If it does spread, homeless people could be among the first to die. 

The Salvation Army is preparing for services to be stretched as more homeless people may turn to us for help to keep clean, dry and safe. We are ensuring we have capacity and staff to keep our essential services for vulnerable people open and reminding our staff of the importance of regular hand washing. 

Moreover, The Salvation Army’s emergency response team helped at Wallasey, Wirral, providing food, refreshments and support to the families and friends of people in isolation, as needed. Our emergency response vehicle was also on hand to serve meals and hot drinks to staff from the emergency services and other charities helping those affected. 

Help us be ready - whatever happens. Make a donation to support The Salvation Army's readiness to respond to the impact of the virus and to support our ongoing work among the people and communities that need us most.”

More information:

For media enquiries, please contact the PR & Communications office: / 020 3657 7555

The Salvation Army is calling for the Government to:

  • Make eliminating rough sleeping by 2024 a priority as set out in their manifesto, an even more ambitious target than the previous Government’s commitment to end rough sleeping by 2027.
  • Invest in supported housing which provides a home but also services to tackle the root causes of homelessness which can be anything from poor mental health to chronic illness or addiction.
  • Provide targeted investment so local authorities properly fund localised support for homelessness.

About The Salvation Army’s homelessness work:

The Salvation Army’s is one of the largest homelessness charities operating in the UK, providing  more than 3,000 places for people in supported housing across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Our work with people who are homeless goes back to our very beginnings – in January 1888 we opened our first homeless centre in Limehouse, London offering affordable food and a bed for the night. Today the church and charity doesn’t just give people who are homeless food and shelter – we help them rebuild their lives by offering personalised support like training in basic life skills, addictions help, housing advice, and a listening ear.

About The Salvation Army:

The Salvation Army is an international Christian church and registered charity which has been transforming lives for more than 150 years. Working in 131 countries worldwide, The Salvation Army offers friendship, practical help and support for people at all levels of need. In the UK and Republic of Ireland this work includes more than 750 community churches and social centres. Registered Charity Nos. 214779, 215174 and in Scotland SC009359, SC037691. For more information visit the website

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