Industry Update
External Article29 December 2020

With Pandemic Raging, London Homeless Take Shelter in Hotels for a While

Many homeless people in London will stay in hotels over the Christmas and New Year holidays, if not longer, through funding from charities and the government.

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There were a few places Roland Le felt comfortable sleeping in London: the doorway of shops he knew were closed and a wooded area near the city's canal. Still, Mr. Le, who became homeless after he lost his job as a cleaner during the pandemic, never quite relaxed.

On Wednesday, Mr. Le found himself at ease and in a hotel room of his own, with a bathroom and three meals delivered a day, all courtesy of Crisis U.K., a charity funding the stay.

"I don't need to watch over my shoulder all the time," he said on a phone call from his room, adding that interacting with volunteers reminded him of his humanity. "It warms your heart up. They treat us as if we were like any other person."

Thousands of people sleeping in Britain's streets have found homes during the coronavirus pandemic, with the government offering 90 percent of them a place to stay, fulfilling a long held goal of charities to reduce rising levels of street homelessness. But whether that reprieve will last, charities say, will depend on how much more money the government will give and if it is spent to target systemic barriers to ending homelessness.

Read the full article at The New York Times

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