London cold weather shelters open for the homeless

There was a 24 per cent increase in the number of people who sleep rough or live rough in London between June and September, compared to last year

Additional emergency accommodation for the homeless will open in London tonight as the weather turns cold.

A Met Office cold weather alert will be in effect in the capital from Wednesday evening to Monday morning.

The alert requires health and social services to target services for high-risk groups of people.

The Mayor of London has also asked councils in the capital to provide extra shelter for homeless people when the temperature drops below freezing.

The government says it is providing funds to support vulnerable people through the winter.

This will be the first time since last winter that the severe weather emergency protocol will be activated.

City Hall said all London boroughs have pledged that no one will be asked to leave emergency shelters until a more permanent support plan is in place for them.

Data from the Combined Homelessness and Information Network suggests that the number of people new to rough or living rough in London increased by 24% between June and September compared to the same period last year, meaning that more than 3,600 people slept in the streets of the capital. .

File photo of an anonymous sleeper sleeping in a doorway in London

Severe weather emergency protocol to be activated for the first time since last winter

Mr Khan warned that rising bills and housing costs meant increasing numbers of people were sleeping rough on the streets of London.

This week he launched his annual Winter Rough Sleep fundraising campaign to raise money for several charities helping homeless Londoners.

“London’s councils and charities will be working even harder this week to support some of our city’s most vulnerable people. On behalf of all Londoners, I thank them for their tireless efforts,” the mayor said.

A spokesman for the Department of Upgrading, Housing and Communities said: “Tackling homelessness remains a priority for this government. That is why we have provided an additional £50 million to support people vulnerable in winter.

“We have also given £316million to councils to ensure families are not left without a roof over their heads, introduced the Energy Price Guarantee to help pay bills over the winter and donated £1,200 to millions of vulnerable people.”

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