You can also contact Lambeth’s Safer Streets Team directly who will offer emergency accomodation to any rough sleepers during cold weather, when the Met Office forecasts three or more nights of zero degrees celsius.
Inspired by Mitzvah Day, we have been working with local volunteers, charities and community groups to collect donations for Linkey, a charity which helps rough sleepers in London.
Thanks to the many donations from local residents, and to Emmaus Lambeth on Knights Hill and the Hyderi Islamic Centre in Streatham who opened their doors to donations. A number of Thurlow Park activists helped to distribute items across London and at a soup kitchen in Croydon on 18th November.
This winter we are volunteering with Linkey, a London charity which helps homeless people and rough sleepers in the capital, and Help Refugees, which works with refugees in Northern France.
Winter is a dangerous time of year. Last year alone, 109 people died on the streets of London. And in Calais and Dunkirk, hundreds of refugees continue to arrive as the situation in many warzones continues to worsen.
With a group of local residents, we are working with Emmaus West Norwood and the Hyderi Mosque in Streatham to collect desperately needed items to distribute in London on 18th November and in Calais on 30 November – 2 December. We would love your help – perhaps you are having a clear out and can donate something, or you could go online and order items from the list new. Equally, if you would like to donate your time then please do get in touch.
Should you see anyone sleeping rough in West Norwood or beyond, please make sure to report it so that they can access a warm place to sleep. Please also keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable neighbours.
Our Labour Mayor of London has set out plans to help homeless people with a new £350m fund. This will include support for former rough sleepers and victims of domestic abuse.
The funding will be available to housing providers to offer move-on accommodation to homeless people who are ready to move into a home of their own after spending time supported in hostels and refuges.
Sadiq is investing a further £9m annually in services for rough sleepers and recently launched a new taskforce, “No Nights Sleeping Rough”, which will bring together Government, local councils like Lambeth and key agencies to focus on preventing rough sleeping and helping those on the streets.
Lambeth Council has secured a share of £6m funding to help unemployed residents into work – especially those who are homeless or overcoming substance abuse. Lambeth is one of six initiatives commissioned by the London Councils, with funding also coming from the European Social Fund, part of the EU.
The programme will offer enhanced support for homeless residents and residents who have recently recovered from substance abuse, plus disabled residents, over-50s, BAME residents and women. It will be delivered by voluntary and community organisations across the borough from September 2016 to December 2018. Across the six projects, 4,500 people will be helped back into work in this needs-led approach.
Our deputy leader Paul McGlone, who is chair of the London Councils’ grants committee, said: “The money will be focused on those who are a long way from employment and will offer tailored support.”
Helen Hayes, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood explains why she is supporting a private members bill which calls for measures to reduce homelessness.
Helen has been doing a lot of work on housing, through casework at her regular surgeries with residents and through her role on the Communities and Local Government Committee. It is a huge issue here in Lambeth – every week residents come to us and to Helen for help as they are threatened with homelessness or have experienced it.
While the council is doing all it can to build new council homes and support vulnerable residents, more needs to be done to ensure that people who are in desperate housing need are not turned away. The Housing (Homeless Persons) Act of 1977 went a long way to ensure homeless people with priority needs are housed – Helen’s work with her colleagues on the Select Committee will, almost 40 years later, seek to build on this reform.