New campaign launched to help London’s rough sleepers

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched his annual Winter Rough Sleeping Fundraising Campaign, urging the government to ‘wake up’ to the dangers facing the vulnerable in the capital.

Khan has warned that the pioneering work carried out to tackle homelessness during the height of the pandemic could go to waste if lessons are not learnt and substantial support for rough sleepers is not forthcoming from ministers.

During the pandemic more than 2,500 rough sleepers were accommodated in GLA-provided accommodation as part of the ‘Everyone In’ programme. Nearly nine in ten of those who passed through these hotels did not return to the streets.

However, many young people are facing life on the streets for the first time as a result of the pandemic. Since the start of lockdown, 11 per cent of all rough sleepers have been under the age of 25, with a 48 per cent increase seen in the period July to September 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

Since 2016, working closely with local authorities and government, the Mayor’s rough sleeping services have helped almost 11,000 rough sleepers, with the number of people sleeping on the street falling by 26 percent since 2016.

Sadiq Khan said: “Since becoming Mayor, I have made tackling rough sleeping a personal priority. From City Hall we are doing everything we can with the resources at our disposal to keep rough sleepers safe and I’m confident Londoners will once again show their generosity by backing my winter fundraising campaign and helping to support young Londoners who find themselves homeless.

“Even so, the generosity of Londoners alone cannot end rough sleeping in our capital. This time last year we were hailing the remarkable success of the ‘Everyone In’ programme for saving the lives of hundreds of vulnerable Londoners. Despite seeing what can be achieved when we work together, ministers now appear unwilling or unable to confront the appalling reality that hundreds of young Londoners could spend this Christmas sleeping on the streets.”

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