As temperatures continue to fall, Mayor of London Boris Johnson has opened an emergency shelter providing a safe and warm alternative to rough sleeping.
Operated by workers from homeless charity St Mungo’s, the shelter provides access to hot showers, food and clean clothes as well as assistance to find permanent accommodation.
City Hall says plans are in place to ensure the shelter is open and ready to receive people whenever three consecutive nights of freezing temperatures are predicted.
OPening the shelter, Mayor Johnson, said: “This shelter will offer a vital lifeline when temperatures tumble to sub-zero levels and rough sleepers risk losing their lives in the cold. As well as getting people out of the icy weather, it will provide them with the help they need to rebuild their lives so they can get off the streets for good.”
Charles Fraser, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s, said: “St Mungo’s is pleased to be helping the Mayor’s Office provide this vital service for people in these life-threatening temperatures. We supported more than 100 people into emergency shelter during last year’s severe weather, which is the first step in talking to rough sleepers about the problems they are facing and what longer term support will help them recover.”
The shelter forms part of the Mayor’s strategy to end rough sleeping in the capital by 2012 which includes the No Second Night Out initiative.