Channel 1 Los Angeles
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is opening emergency cold weather shelters across the capital for the first time this year, as temperatures are set to hit zero or below this evening.
Every night more than 700 spaces are available through the severe weather shelters funded by City Hall and boroughs, in addition to more than 600 spaces provided by winter night shelters run by faith and community groups. The shelters will remain open throughout the weekend.
Sadiq has agreed with London councils that from this winter, severe weather shelters will now open London-wide if the temperature is predicted to drop below zero or below anywhere in the capital. Previously, shelters were opened on a borough-by-borough basis, leading to patchy provision. The Mayor has also worked with boroughs to sign up to the ‘In For Good’ principle – a promise that, when a rough sleeper goes to an emergency shelter, they will be accommodated there until a support plan is put in place to help them off the streets for good.
The Mayor’s rough sleeping campaign, launched in November to raise money for the London Homeless Charities Group, a coalition of charities working to tackle rough sleeping, has already raised more than £150,000.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “This time of year is often when the most bitter cold weather hits. As the temperature drops tonight, our approach means all emergency shelters across London will be open to help rough sleepers. At City Hall, we are doing all we can to help people off the streets, and Londoners are playing their part too by helping any rough sleepers they see through StreetLink, and by donating – via our new contactless donation points or online – to homeless charities providing extra services. Together we will help thousands of Londoners this winter – but we must be clear that to truly end homelessness Government Ministers must stop ignoring the fact that their policies are pushing more people onto the streets.”
At the launch of his rough sleeping campaign, Sadiq rolled out 35 new TAP London contactless donation points across the capital, helping Londoners to donate on the go using their contactless debit card or phone. Since the campaign launch, an addition 24 points have been launched.