London Mayor Sadiq Khan allocates more than £4.2 million to help vulnerable rough sleepers
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has allocated more than £4.2 million to help vulnerable rough sleepers, many of whom have mental health, drug and alcohol issues.
The funding bids were put together with the help of the Mayor’s ‘No Nights Sleeping Rough’ Taskforce – a partnership started by Khan between City Hall, central government, London’s boroughs, homelessness charities and other agencies to tackle rough sleeping in the capital.
A series of specialist providers will now be selected to operate the projects which include:
· £2 million for a rough-sleeping Social Impact Bond – alongside £1 million from City Hall – which is an innovative results-focused way of helping more than 300 of London’s rough sleepers with most demanding needs, such as mental health issues and drug and alcohol problems
· £1.875 million for a ‘safe connections’ project, to find a bed for people who have slept rough at least twice in the last three months
· £340,000 for a pan-London hostels clearing house pilot, to help those willing to move into a hostel and fill empty beds across the capital.
Khan, said: “Rough sleeping in the capital has doubled over the last five years – this is beyond shameful in one of the world’s richest cities. It is unacceptable that for years some of London’s most vulnerable people have been failed by the system.
“Rough sleepers are at serious risk every night they spend on the streets and this funding will help reduce the dangers they face and improve their quality of life. I’m determined to do everything in my power to address this issue – but while these projects will have a positive impact, rough sleeping will clearly not be solved overnight.
“Government at all levels needs to work with the capital’s fantastic charities, not only to support those who find themselves sleeping on the streets, but also to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.”
Thames Reach’s director of operations, Bill Tidnam, added: “This is good news for homeless people in London. We know that Social Impact Bonds help us work flexibly with the most entrenched rough sleepers, so that they can get the accommodation and treatment they need, and build a life away from homelessness.
“Taken together the Safer Connections and Hostel Clearing House initiatives should mean that homeless people spend less time exposed to the dangers of living on the streets.”