Mayor's rough sleeping campaign raises almost £200k
- 18 charities to get over £10,000 each
- Referrals to StreetLink reached highest level on record since start of campaign – up almost 45 per cent compared to equivalent period last year
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has praised Londoners for their help in connecting more rough sleepers with services in the capital than ever before, and for their generosity in donating almost £200,000 towards his ‘No one needs to sleep rough in London’ campaign.
The campaign, which began in December 2017, brought a coalition of 18 homelessness charities together through a single donation point. The money raised will be divided equally between the charities, meaning each one will benefit from more than £10,000 towards vital services.
The Mayor’s campaign also encouraged Londoners to let homelessness services know about rough sleepers they are concerned about through a simple app, ‘StreetLink’. Since the start of the campaign, Londoners have made 8,516 referrals through StreetLink – the highest level on record, up almost 45 per cent from 5,892 referrals over the equivalent period last year.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Even one person sleeping rough on our streets is one too many, and it’s been incredible to see how much Londoners want to help tackle this problem. They have helped connect more rough sleepers than ever before with services in the capital, and their huge generosity will make a huge difference, with the £197,254 raised going to charities working tirelessly to help those in desperate need.
“I continue to do everything I can to make sure there is a route off the streets for every rough sleeper in London, from funding outreach services to opening emergency shelters every night the temperature drops below zero. But I cannot do it alone. This campaign has shown what a difference we can make when we all work together, and the Government needs to go much further in giving us the resources we need to help rough sleepers, and in addressing the root causes of homelessness.”
Today, James Murray, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, visited Centrepoint, one of the charities in the coalition. He met staff and was shown Centrepoint’s new helpline, launched last year as the first national freephone service for any young person aged between 16 and 25 who is homeless or worried about homelessness. The helpline receives around 300 calls per month, 42 per cent of which are from young people in London.
James Murray, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, said: “Londoners’ great generosity will help support the vital work of homelessness charities across the capital, meaning that organisations like Centrepoint can go even further in the services they offer. Whether it’s finding a bed for the night, providing support into permanent housing, or offering a listening ear, their work changes lives for the better every single day. I was delighted to visit Centrepoint’s helpline today to see first-hand the great work they do.”
Seyi Obakin OBE, Chief Executive of Centrepoint, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the deputy mayor to the Centrepoint Helpline so he could see first-hand how we are working to support young Londoners who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
“The generosity of Londoners makes a huge a difference to charities like Centrepoint who work with hundreds of homeless young people in the capital every year. As one of the wealthiest cities in the world it is vital that we all play our part in ending youth homeless by supporting young people into a home and a job.”
At the launch of the campaign last winter, Sadiq changed City Hall policy to enable cold-weather shelters to be opened more often. Under the previous Mayor’s policy, shelters only opened when three consecutive nights of sub-zero temperatures were forecast. Sadiq did not believe this policy went far enough to help those sleeping rough in the capital, and as a result of his new policy, cold-weather shelters are open every night temperatures fall below zero. This meant that between December and March they were open for 38 nights, compared to the 31 nights they would have been open in that same period under the previous Mayor’s policy.
Sadiq also worked with all 33 London boroughs, including the City of London, to help them change their local policies and operate in the same way. The work of boroughs, voluntary and faith-based organisations, and City Hall means that almost 1,000 spaces were available across the capital to those who needed them on each of the nights when temperatures fell below zero.
Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter, said: “It’s scandalous that every night thousands of Londoners have to resort to sleeping on the streets. That’s why we’re hugely grateful for people’s generous donations to the London Charities Homeless Group during the Mayor’s rough sleeping campaign - but the hard work doesn’t stop here. Ongoing support is essential to continue our work to help get the homeless into secure homes so they can rebuild their lives.”
Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s, said: “Our thanks to the Mayor and all the partners in the London Homeless Charities Group for pulling together this campaign, which meant there was something every Londoner could do to help people sleeping rough over the cold winter period.
“And many thanks to Londoners for their extreme generosity. We’re putting money raised towards our Recovery College which helps support people who’ve been sleeping rough with their wellbeing and into training and employment. Around 650 people attend our London Recovery College over a year, which offers activities and ways to rebuild self-confidence and boost skills which can help people to find and sustain a home and move away from the streets for good.”
Notes to editors
- As of 4th June, the total raised is £197,254
- For more information on contacting StreetLink, and to donate to the campaign, visit www.london.gov.uk/helproughsleepers
- From 15th December 2017 to 31st May 2018 there have been 8,516 StreetLink referrals passed on to outreach teams in London. Across the same period in 2017 there were 5,892 StreetLink referrals passed on to outreach teams in London.
- The money raised from the campaign will be split equally between the 18 charities. The donations could provide:
- Decent clothes for 10,000 people coming in off the streets;
- Things needed to set up home, like pots, pans and bed linen for 4,000 people; or
- Help for 2,000 people to gain the skills or qualifications they need to sustain a life away from the streets.
- The new coalition of 18 charities - London Homeless Charities Group consists of:
- Albert Kennedy Trust
- The Connection at St Martins
- Homeless Link
- Housing Justice
- New Horizon Youth Centre
- Providence Row
- St Mungo’s
- Thames Reach
- The Big Issue Foundation
- The Passage
- The Salvation Army
- West London Mission
- YMCA England
- The total number of rough sleepers seen rough sleeping in London in 2016/17 was 8,108. This compares to 8,096 the previous year. The figure reported in 2010/11 was of 3,975. Chain statistics are here: https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/chain-reports.
- The Mayor has set up the ‘No Nights Sleeping Rough’ taskforce. Chaired by James Murray, the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, it brings together partners key to tackling rough sleeping in London (including boroughs, voluntary organisations and government).
- City Hall also invests £9m a year in a range of pan-London services for rough sleepers. Last year, the rough sleeping services commissioned by the Mayor supported more than 1,600 people off the streets and helped a further 1,600 people with a history of rough sleeping, who are at risk of losing their accommodation and returning to the streets, to stay in their homes. More information about those services can be found here: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/housing-and-land/homelessness/mayor%E2%80%99s-rough-sleeping-services
- Through his Affordable Homes Programme 2016-21, the Mayor has made available up to £50m of capital funding to provide accommodation for people ready to move on from hostels, so that this group can live more independently and spaces are made available for those who need them.
- The ‘No Nights Sleeping Rough’ taskforce helped the Mayor secure £4.2m from the government to help rough sleepers. That includes: £2 million (alongside £1 million from City Hall) for a rough-sleeping Social Impact Bond – an innovative results-focussed way of helping more than 300 of London’s rough sleepers with the most complex needs, such as mental health issues and drug and alcohol problems; £1.875 million for a ‘Safe Connections’ project, to help people who have slept rough at least twice in the last three months; and £340,000 for a pan-London ‘Hostels Clearing House’ pilot, to help councils and the services they commission make optimum use of London’s hostel spaces for rough sleepers.