The number of people sleeping rough on our streets is rising and winter is coming. What new work is your office doing to support those people, often extremely vulnerable, who find themselves sleeping rough in London? What urgent action should the government take to support you and other partners in this essential work?
I am continuing to expand my Life Off the Streets programme of rough sleeping services, with City Hall’s rough sleeping budget this year more than double the £8.5 million it was when I came to office. My new Winter Programme will mean shelters open continuously from the end of the Christmas period until at least the end of February, and in partnership with boroughs and providers, we will be providing over 300 additional bedspaces. This extra provision will complement services I have expanded to operate all year round - including a new dedicated StreetLink London website and a Rapid Response Team to get help to people on the streets faster when members of the public make referrals through this service. Government needs to step up and makes the reforms and investment needed, as clearly set out in my Rough Sleeping Plan of Action.