National homelessness charity Crisis has come together with St Mungo’s and The Passage this week to extend one of the hotel-based Crisis at Christmas services in London until 28 January 2022, providing more time to accommodate and provide support to over 300 Crisis at Christmas guests who may otherwise be sleeping rough.
This comes as Crisis at Christmas hotel services were set to close on Wednesday 5 January, having run for two full weeks over the festive period, providing people who would otherwise be on the streets with somewhere safe and warm to sleep as well as three meals a day, companionship and expert advice from Crisis staff and volunteers.
With Winter Pressures Grant funding from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and funding from Crisis, plus vital collaboration with St Mungo’s, The Passage, and Westminster City Council, Crisis has been able to extend hotel rooms for 300 guests across one hotel for an additional three weeks.
In the short term, this provides essential protection from the immediate threat to life for people who would otherwise be on the streets – both from the dangers of the bitterly cold weather we are currently experiencing but also the ongoing threat of coronavirus.
In the longer term, this also provides precious time for Crisis and partner organisations involved to work with guests, putting even more people on the path out of homelessness for good by providing guidance and support with things like employment and longer-term accommodation and engaging them with the support that is available to them all year round.
Chief Executive at Crisis, Matt Downie, said: “There is no doubt that this opportunity will be transformative for our guests and will help many to leave homelessness behind for good. Three weeks may not sound like a long time but it is when compared to spending night after night sleeping in the bitter cold, with the risk of COVID still high across London. This additional time with guests provides an invaluable opportunity for our staff and volunteers to work with them on the long-term solutions to end their homelessness and link them in with the year-round support on offer to them from organisations like Crisis.
“I am delighted we have been able to work together with our sector and government colleagues to provide this. This is a great way to kick off 2022 and progress in our collective effort to end homelessness for good.”
Chief Executive at The Passage, Mick Clarke, said: “No one organisation can end homelessness by working in isolation; that’s why The Passage is proud to be working with Crisis and St. Mungo’s as part of the extension to the Crisis at Christmas Hotel provision. Together, we can help many more people to end their homelessness for good.”
Director of Rough Sleeping and Migrants at St Mungo’s, Petra Salva OBE said: “We are pleased to be collaborating with our colleagues from Crisis and The Passage on this important project.
“The dual threat of the cold weather and Covid 19 really does present a very real danger to those who are sleeping rough. This extension will ensure that those most in need are safe, warm and can access the vital support needed to help them move off the streets for good; and supports St Mungo’s continued commitment to provide support 365 days a year to ensure everyone who wants to can have the chance to recover from homelessness.
“We have seen throughout the pandemic what can be done when we work together to achieve our shared aim of ending rough sleeping, and this is another great example of what is possible with a flexible ‘can-do’ approach and partnership working.”