SHP will be running two night shelters over the coming winter months.

The two shelters will be operating in Redbridge, and Camden and Islington, providing a bed, food and support for 48 rough sleepers every night.

The Redbridge shelter opened earlier this week in preparation for Christmas, and the Camden and Islington shelter will open in the New Year.

There is an urgent need for the extra provision due to the growing number of rough sleepers in both boroughs. A recent report by Shelter found Camden had the second highest number of rough sleepers in the capital.

Death on the streets

The shelters will meet the extra demand for a safe and warm place to sleep, as temperatures drop across the country.

According to newly released government figures, nearly 600 homeless people died on the streets and in temporary accommodation in England and Wales last year. The statistics are the first the government has released data on homeless deaths, and show a rise of 24 per cent in five years.

Melanie Malcom, who is leading on the Redbrige Shelter, said: It’s great to get people out on the streets somewhere warm, inside and out of the cold.

“These clients would otherwise be sleeping out in the cold and be at serious risk of fatality. We will try offer them hot food and drinks, as well as so much needed shelter for the night.

“Alongside the provision of Salvation Army’s night shelter, no-one should have to sleep on the streets of Redbridge this Christmas.”

The shelter in Redbridge is being supported by the local community with Al Madina Mosque providing volunteers and meals three nights a week.

Additional support

As well as respite from the cold, the shelters will provide additional support for clients including health checks, access to housing programmes and support from trained staff to see if there are longer-term options to move them off the streets.

Toni Warner, Deputy CEO said: “The number of people on the street is worse than we have seen in many years. Rough sleepers today are more visible, often more entrenched, with more complex need - and those without recourse have no other option.

“These shelters will bring together services, complex need workers and outreach teams from across the boroughs to ensure we provide for those who will be in the greatest need this winter.”


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