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The Passage helps to develop London’s first ever Rough Sleeping Charter

Today, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan launched the capital’s first ever Rough Sleeping Charter: a public commitment for Londoners to work together to end rough sleeping. Over 100 charities, faith groups, businesses and people with lived experience have helped to design and develop the charter, creating a shared purpose and vision for tackling the challenge of rough sleeping in the capital.  

The rough sleeping charter started with a small group of organisations and city government officials – including The Passage, Connection at St Martin’s, Groundswell, Housing Justice, YMCA St. Paul’s, Bloomberg Associates, the Greater London Authority and London Councils — who wanted to engage better with the community and build a bigger movement around the goal to end rough sleeping.

Rough Sleeping Charter

The Charter sets out six principles for signatories to uphold in their work including:

  • Accepting that whilst people sleeping rough may have problems, they aren’t problem people.
  • Recognising that everyone rough sleeping is unique, and there should be meaningful options for all, regardless of immigration status.
  • Ensuring that people sleeping rough are safe from violence, abuse, theft and discrimination and that they have the full protection of the law.

It also includes key actions that signatories commit to undertake and support:

  • Acknowledging people when they talk to you or ask you for money, even if you decide you would rather not give it to them directly
  • If you see someone sleeping rough who needs help, let Streetlink London know
  • Volunteer, donate, or support a charity who has joined this pledge

For many the cost-of-living crisis, rising rents and benefit cuts have created the perfect storm forcing more people onto the streets. The latest ‘snapshot’ Government figures, published earlier this year, showed rough sleeping has increased in every region of England year-on-year, including in London. City Hall’s Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) data showed a 12% increase in total during the period July-September 2023, compared to the previous year, with outreach teams recording 4,068 individuals sleeping rough in the city.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The growing number of rough sleepers across London and the wider country is deeply alarming. The cost-of-living crisis and other changes in Government policy is putting more and more Londoners at risk of losing their homes and ending up with nowhere to go.

One of my top priorities as Mayor is to end rough sleeping in the capital for good, and create a better, fairer London for all.”

For more information on the charter and ways to pledge your support, visit endroughsleepinglondon.org.uk

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