In the four weeks since lockdown, the council has tripled resources to meet new requests for free school meals and seen the demand for food vouchers quadruple.
Council cabinet papers drawn up by Chief Executive Jo Negrini reveals Croydon has 11,616 ‘shielded’ residents that have been identified by the NHS as needing to stay in their homes for at least 12 weeks with 5,765 registering, and 2,305 unable to secure basic supplies. New referrals are being made every day as new vulnerable residents are identified with staff using telephone and text to contact all those needing to shield ask what support is required.
Croydon has received £19.9m in emergency funding from the government but that will not cover all the anticipated costs faced by the council.
To date (May 4), 908 emergency food packages have been delivered by the council. It has provided £22,300 in food vouchers, £2,200 emergency amenities funding, and £49,000 to facilitate moves and furniture in to new homes.
The council’s four Foodstops which help struggling residents have been overwhelmed with demand and so far three tonnes of food has been distributed with queues outside the Food Stop at the Parchmore Centre.
Closely working with schools, the voluntary sector and other council services to meet vulnerable residents and has seen 83 per cent of requests come from families.
Croydon’s statutory single homeless service (SHS) has placed 62 people, including 23 rough sleepers in to temporary accommodation. The GLA provision has housed 98 local people, including 16 rough sleeping in Croydon.
On PPE, despite a significant demand, the council has maintained supplies for council staff and at no stage has services been impacted by a lack of equipment. The weekly PPE requirements for council services runs in to thousands of items: with 15,071 facemasks, 9,583 aprons, 22,148 gloves, 290 eye protection spectacles, and 805 hand sanitisers.
Croydon has been allocated £60.6m to support businesses with grants of £10k or £25k payable, based on business rate values. However, it has proved challenging to get businesses to complete the application process. So far £36.42 million has been paid to 2,684 Croydon businesses (as of May 4) with 1,100 further businesses identified as being entitled to apply for aid.