Female rough sleeper

Six ways the Mayor is helping rough sleepers

15 December 2017

The number of people sleeping rough in London doubled between 2010 and 2016, to more than 8,000 last year. While this number stabilised in Mayor Sadiq Khan’s first year in office, lots of work is being done at City Hall to help London’s rough sleepers access vital services and find a path off the streets.

Here are six things the Mayor is doing:

Emergency weather shelters
London’s freezing weather shelters will now open across the capital whenever temperatures fall below zero – previously, these shelters opened only when temperatures were forecast to be sub-zero for three days or more.

A new taskforce
The Mayor has set up the ‘No Nights Sleeping Rough’ taskforce to come up with new solutions to tackling rough sleeping in London, bringing together boroughs, voluntary organisations and central government.

Bold new services
A new Night Transport Team now assists rough sleepers on night buses, the night Tube and the Overground, and the Safe Connections service helps relatively new rough sleepers reconnect with their home area. Meanwhile, the Entrenched Rough Sleepers Social Impact Bond is helping to find personalised solutions for 350 long-term rough sleepers.

Securing government funding
Sadiq has secured up to £50m to invest in accommodation for people moving on from hostels and refuges, and an extra £4.2m – on top of the £9m City Hall spends every year – for new support services, which includes help for the most entrenched rough sleepers.

Making it easier for you to help
StreetLink, supported by the Mayor, allows members of the public to say if they have seen rough sleepers via an app, so that they can be connected to vital services. Crowdfunding website Beam, supported by the Mayor, enables people to donate to get former rough sleepers and other homeless people into training and employment.

Bringing charities together
For the first time, the Mayor has brought 18 homelessness charities with decades of experience in helping people sleeping rough in the capital together to form the London Homeless Charities Group, giving Londoners a single point at which to donate.

Find out more about how you can help or what City Hall is doing to help London’s rough sleepers.

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