The number of rough sleepers in the Square Mile rose to 67 during autumn 2018, up 86% on the year before. In 2019 this upward trend continued.
As deputy chair of the City’s homelessness and rough sleeping sub-committee I am working with fellow councillors to see what more we can do to stop this worrying trend. Together we are absolutely committed to addressing the root causes of homelessness.
The City Corporation together with partners such as St Mungo’s has already taken extra steps to prevent rough sleeping, such organising temporary support hubs, provide extra funding for services, support a pan-London approach and looking at ways to tackle the underlying causes of rough sleeping and homelessness. But many City councillors like myself believe more can and should be done to help people find a path out of a life on the streets, such as:
- Looking into accommodating a permanent support hub in the Square Mile
- Strengthen our pan-London commitments and support a cross agency approach
- Repeal the 1824 Vagrancy Act to stop criminalisation of vulnerable people who need our support, not a criminal record