We'll never turn our backs on rough sleepers

We'll never turn our backs on rough sleepers

During the Mayor’s rough sleeping campaign last winter, Londoners played a key role in helping people off the street.

Londoners made a record number of referrals to StreetLink – the service that lets outreach workers know where rough sleepers are so they can offer help. StreetLink received more than 8,500 such referrals in total – that’s 45 per cent more than during the previous year.

Londoners also showed their generosity by giving almost £200,000 to the London Homeless Charities Group – money that will help the 18 charities involved to boost services for those who need them.

What can I do to help?

If you see someone sleeping rough who you are concerned about, you can help make sure they get support by letting StreetLink know through their website or app. You can also still donate to the London Homeless Charities Group, who help London’s rough sleepers all year round.

Rough Sleeping Plan of Action

On 28 June 2018, the Mayor published London’s first ever Rough Sleeping Plan of Action. It sets out what City Hall, the Government and others should do to end rough sleeping once and for all.

The Plan sets out how the Mayor will use his powers and resources to their fullest extent, but how we need a real step-change of investment from the national Government to truly end rough sleeping. It also makes clear that the Government must commit to tackling the root causes of homelessness, such as welfare cuts and the lack of affordable housing.

What else are we doing to help rough sleepers?

In June 2018 London successfully secured an extra £11.1m from the Government for rough sleeping services. Of this, £3.3m will be directly managed by City Hall. We will use this funding to: 

  • double the number of London Street Rescue outreach workers in autumn 2018
  • boost local cold weather shelters with a £600,000 small grants programme
  • expand the No Second Night Out service, including funding two new staging posts
  • improve access to mental health services with a specialist team to assess rough sleepers.

Other work includes:

Providing a major programme of pan-London rough sleeping services to help rough sleepers come off the streets and rebuild their lives. Alongside the money we recently secured from Government, as set out above, the Mayor spends £8.45m a year on City Hall services, and secured £4.2m for specific new services from Government in December 2016. 

Running the Mayor’s ‘No Nights Sleeping Rough’ taskforce, which brings together key partners to identify and implement interventions that will contribute to tackling rough sleeping in the capital.

Coordinating action during severe weather. Last winter, the Mayor changed City Hall policy so that shelters for rough sleepers across the capital open as soon as the temperature is forecast to be zero degrees or lower on any night. The previous policy was that temperatures needed to be that low for three consecutive nights before shelters opened.

See how the Mayor's services have helped rough sleepers like Benji

Rough sleeper
Giving money to charity means you can be sure that...

It's spent on helping someone rebuild their life

The money you donate will go directly to charities that provide real help for rough sleepers.

You're helping more people leave the street for good

Rough sleeping is harmful and dangerous - the average age of death is 47 and around eight in ten rough sleepers were victims of crime or anti-social behaviour in the last year.

You're helping someone who's actually homeless

Many people begging have somewhere to live - giving to charity means your donation will provide real help for rough sleepers.


Learn more about this campaign and the Mayor's rough sleeping services.

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