The Mayor of London has joined forces with 18 charities tackling homelessness, including The Big Issue Foundation, to provide extra help for rough sleepers in the capital this winter.
Sadiq Khan has formed a coalition, the London Homeless Charities Group, aimed at creating a stronger safety net for people on the streets. A new strategy will see emergency shelters open across the capital on every day of sub-zero temperatures, ditching the previous policy of shelters opening only when three consecutive days of freezing temps are forecast.
The Mayor said “We’ve already started to make progress in London, but it’s still shocking that so many people in our city feel they have no choice but to sleep on the streets. We must continue to take action because one person sleeping rough is always one too many. I know there are millions of Londoners who want to do something to help rough sleepers get off the streets for good.”
“That’s why I am pleased to be joining forces with our new coalition of charities dedicated to this cause, offering a single donation point for Londoners who want to give money to those who need help the most.”
New, permanent hubs will be set up in Hackney and Lewisham for the ‘No Second Night Out’ service, a rapid response to the needs of new rough sleepers, with outreach teams heading out to offer them an alternative.
And the Mayor’s new coalition will also offer Londoners a single charitable donation point, with all funds generated going equally to the 18 organisations providing services for rough sleepers. He also set up a taskforce to explore new ways to address the rough sleeping crisis.
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Stephen Robertson, CEO of The Big Issue Foundation, said “I am delighted that we are part of this new coalition. Big Issue vendors are running their own businesses as a legitimate way to earn cash and journey away from homelessness and the poverty of their experiences. Thousands of Londoners buy a copy of The Big Issue magazine every week and I would urge even more to do likewise because it works. This additional opportunity to donate and support our service work, funded with charitable cash, is most welcome and needed in these tough times.”
You can find out more about the campaign here.