Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has praised the thousands of Londoners who have worked over Christmas to support the capital’s homeless.
Mr Livingstone said “The support that thousands of Londoners have given to the homeless though charities like Crisis this Christmas is simply incredible. The generosity and commitment that they have shown to help those less fortunate than themselves is yet another example of the strength of London’s collective spirit.”
“2008 must be the year that there is real progress on providing more affordable and social rented homes to tackle urgent need for more housing in London and protecting those who provide support for the homeless.”
Referring to a recent bid by London Councils, the umbrella group for London’s 33 local authorities, to include in the London Local Authorities Bill a clause which could see the end of soup kitchens for the homeless the Mayor said:
“We must continue to oppose moves to criminalise those who run soup kitchens and support for the homeless. Although an attempt to ban ‘soup kitchens’ was defeated last month, it is clear Westminster Council and others have not changed their position.”
The Mayor was joined in his praise by Leslie Morphy the Chief Executive of homeless charity, Crisis who said:
“This Christmas an amazing 7000 volunteers have come forward to help run our temporary centres in London. The centres provide food, shelter and companionship but most of all aim to help our guests, many of whom are street homeless, to take the first step out of homelessness through access to vital services. We are hugely grateful to our volunteers for their time, energy and skills and the compassion they show to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”
According to the charity 2,000 homeless and vulnerably housed people are expected to seek their help this Christmas.