Mayor’s rough sleeping campaign hits £100k target in just seven weeks
Generous Londoners have raised over £100,000 in just seven weeks to help rough sleepers in the capital, in response to the Mayor of London’s campaign “No one needs to sleep rough in London”.
In a week where temperatures in London dropped below zero and emergency shelters across the city opened to offer those sleeping rough a warm place to stay, Sadiq Khan’s fundraising drive has surpassed its initial target of £100,000, so far raising over £101,000 through over 2,000 donations.*
The Mayor launched the campaign in December to show Londoners how their help could complement services funded by City Hall to support people sleeping rough in the capital. It promotes StreetLink - a simple app through which Londoners can help direct services towards people sleeping rough -and the London Homeless Charities Group, a coalition of 18 leading homeless charities offering a single donation point.
After passing the £100,000 mark, the Mayor is urging Londoners to keep the momentum going throughout February to raise as much money as possible to help those that need it most.
The money will be split equally between the 18 charities and could help thousands of people sleeping rough.
The donations of £100,000 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 campaign shows Londoners how they can direct outreach services towards people found sleeping rough, by using StreetLink – an app which sends an alert to the relevant local council or support service to go out and offer help. Since the campaign launch, over 2,000 referrals to StreetLink have been made in London - double the number from the same time last year.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “No one should be faced with sleeping rough on our streets, and it’s been amazing to see so many Londoners responding to our campaign. It's phenomenal that we have raised £100,000 in such a short space of time to go further with the services charities can offer. With more than 8,000 people sleeping rough on our streets, there is always more we can all do and I urge Londoners to keep giving, and to let StreetLink know if they see anyone sleeping rough this winter.”
This week, emergency shelters across London opened as temperatures plummeted below zero. Sadiq Khan changed City Hall policy to ensure emergency cold-weather shelters open on every single day of sub-zero temperatures in London, and worked with all 33 London boroughs to help them change their own policies and operate in the same way. The previous Mayor only made these shelters available when three consecutive days of freezing temperatures were forecast.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It’s nothing short of an outrage that thousands of Londoners end up sleeping on the streets through the gruelling conditions we’ve recently seen.
“That’s why we’re truly grateful that so many people have donated to the London Homeless Charities Group over the Christmas period. But as we progress through the new year, we must remember thousands of rough sleepers are still facing many months of bitter cold, rain and hopelessness on our streets.
“We hope the public will continue to donate generously over the coming months so our hard work can go much further towards helping people off the streets and giving them the support they need to rebuild their lives.
Thames Reach’s Chief Executive Jeremy Swain said: “We are overwhelmed by the generous response of Londoners to the Mayor’s campaign. Thames Reach’s outreach teams are extremely heartened by this show of public support and the money raised will help many rough sleepers make the transition from a bleak shop doorway to temporary accommodation and from there we can help people develop the living skills and form the support networks that will mean they need never return to the streets.”
The Mayor is asking people to donate to the London Charities Homeless Group via a GoFundMe page set up by the coalition. Details can be found here: www.london.gov.uk/help-rough-sleepers.
Notes to editors
*Figure accurate as of 5th February 2018
Notes to editors:
- 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 campaign will run until mid-February. The donation page on London.gov.uk and information for contacting StreetLink will remain.
- 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 - a London-wide taskforce to oversee the implementation of the Mayor’s rough sleeping work and funding priorities. 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 newly in need.
- 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.