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Australian City Trialling Sleeping Homeless In Five-Star Hotel Amid Coronavirus

Australian City Trialling Sleeping Homeless In Five-Star Hotel Amid Coronavirus

If successful, 120 rooms at the hotel could be designated to homeless and vulnerable people

Jake Massey

Jake Massey

A city in Australia is trialling housing homeless people in a five-star hotel in a bid to protect them from the spread of coronavirus.

Initially, 20 of Perth's most at-risk rough sleepers will be provided a bed at the Pan Pacific Hotel as part of the 'Hotels with Heart' pilot.

It is hoped the 'Hotels with Heart' scheme could help to fight the spread of the disease.

If successful, 120 rooms at the hotel could be made available to homeless people, and the scheme may be expanded to accommodate victims of domestic violence and those suffering from mental health problems.

Community Services Minister, Simone McGurk, said the initiative could help 'flatten the curve' in Western Australia.

According to the Daily Mail, she said: "'The Hotels with Heart' pilot learns from similar initiatives happening interstate and around the world, including in the United Kingdom, America and Canada.

"It demonstrates what can be achieved when there is collaboration across the private, community service and government sectors.

"With the help of community service organisations, this initiative will take the pressure off the health system in Western Australia and potentially help to flatten the curve as the State fights to stop the spread of Covid-19.

"The Hotels with Heart pilot also aims to sustain our hotel sector for when the COVID‑19 threat is eliminated."

There are a total of 355 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Western Australia, while there are 4,459 cases nationwide. A total of 19 people have died in the country after contracting the virus.

Similar schemes have been rolled out in countries across the world.

Earlier this month, around 300 hotel rooms were made available to homeless people in London as part of a trial, with Mayor Sadiq Khan working with Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) to block-book rooms at a discounted rate for a 12-week period.

The coronavirus poses an even greater threat to homeless people, for whom it is more challenging to follow safety measures such as social distancing and regular handwashing.

Khan said: "Rough sleepers already face difficult and uncertain lives and I'm determined to do all I can to ensure they, along with all Londoners, are given the best protection possible."

It's okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD's aim with our Coronavirus campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we're facing. For more information from the World Health Organisation on Coronavirus, click here.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, Coronavirus, Australia, Homeless