News: London Homelessness Charities Group & The Mayor’s Campaign

The Connection is proud to be a member of the London Homelessness Charities Group

The London Homeless Charities Group (LHCG) is a collation of charities that have come together to share best practice, and to provide the public with a single point to donate to support out work to end homelessness. All charities in the group deliver direct services to people that are sleeping rough or those at risk of rough sleeping.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today launched his plans to help rough sleepers this winter – by doubling his street outreach team and opening London’s severe weather shelters more often than ever before, alongside offering Londoners the chance to donate to homeless charity projects through new contactless donation points across the capital.

This winter, Sadiq has doubled of the size of City Hall’s street outreach team, and agreed with London boroughs that severe weather shelters will now open London-wide if the temperature is predicted to drop below zero anywhere in the capital. Previously, shelters were opened on a borough-by-borough basis, leading to patchy provision.

The Mayor has also persuaded all London boroughs to sign up to his ‘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.

After the success of his fundraising campaign last year, which raised nearly £200,000, the Mayor is once again working with the London Homeless Charities Group – a coalition of 22 charities working with homeless people across the capital. The coalition offers Londoners an easily accessible, single donation point with all donations split between the charities and going towards projects they run.

This year, donating to the charities will be even easier thanks to the roll out of TAP London contactless donation points. Supported by the Mayor, TAP London is a not-for-profit company dedicated to improving the lives of homeless Londoners through contactless technology and innovation. The TAP London points are small, secure payment points that enable Londoners to make £3 donations by card. 35 donation points will launch today with more than 90 appearing across the capital this winter.

Today the Mayor launched the scheme at City Hall, where one of the building’s windows now has a donation point. The other donation points are located in busy areas around the capital. Donations can also be made online via the campaign’s GoFundMe page.

The Mayor urged Londoners to donate to the campaign and also to use the Streetlink app and website to alert outreach services to rough sleepers needing support.

Tackling homelessness is one of the Mayor’s top priorities and, since taking office, he has secured an additional £12 million from the government for London–wide Mayoral rough sleeping services, on top of the £8.5 million a year he already spends on those services. Using this funding, Sadiq has doubled the size of his street outreach team and created a new team to help those sleeping rough on London’s transport network. Sadiq has also increased support for mental health services and funded projects dedicated to helping London’s homeless veterans.

Sadiq has launched a ‘pop-up’ homelessness hub, which moves to a different part of London every month, targeting areas where people are sleeping rough and working with them intensively over a short period to help them access accommodation and support. The hub has worked successfully in Stroud Green and Stratford – 23 of the 24 people who came into the service at Stroud Green were supported into accommodation. During the time the hub was active in Newham, the number of rough sleepers at the Stratford Shopping Centre reduced significantly from 50+ in September to 18 in October.

Whatever the weather, homeless people deserve better. Help end homelessness in our city for good, from donating to volunteering. Get involved here: www.london.gov.uk/helplondonshomeless