Westminster council is working with national government, the GLA and London councils to support rough sleepers

City of Westminster logo.

Westminster council has issued a statement to quash rumours that other London boroughs had been housing rough sleepers in the City's empty hotels and expecting it to look after them and pick up the bill. It seems loose talk and incorrect facts were put about at a meeting in April between residents and councillors in …

Soup kitchen appeals for financial help after record number of homeless and hungry people queue for a meal

Sign on soup kitchen fence.

A soup kitchen feeding the homeless and hungry in central London has issued an urgent appeal for financial help after experiencing its busiest day ever where they struggled to serve a long queue of people while maintaining social distancing to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Alex Brown the director of the long running Soup …

Memorial service for man who died sleeping rough in Fitzrovia park

Flowers, candle and card.

A memorial service will be held this Friday (21 September) at a church soup kitchen for a man who died while sleeping rough in Whitfield Gardens public open space. The man, known as Igor, was originally from Ukraine and died in his sleep on 31 August near where his friends were also sleeping rough. According …

Camden Council gets £870k to tackle rough sleeping

Someone sleeping on the street under a blanket.

Camden Council has secured £870,000 of government funding to assist homeless people in the borough after a count of rough sleepers identified a more accurate picture of its street population. The money, from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), is the highest amount awarded for any individual local authority. Neighbouring Westminster Council …

Volunteers sought for Camden rough sleeper count

Someone sleeping on the street under a blanket.

Camden Safer Streets Team will be carrying out a comprehensive count of people sleeping rough in the borough this week and is looking for volunteers from the community to help. In the autumn of 2017 an official count revealed that there were total of 1,137 rough sleepers in London. Camden reported the largest increase from …

Tributes left for homeless man who died sleeping on Tottenham Court Road

Flowers left on pavement.

Bunches of flowers and messages have been left on Tottenham Court Road in memory of a homeless man who died last week while sleeping on the street. The Huffington Post reports that a man who was aged in his 40s and was known as "Irish Keith" died on the pavement outside Curry's PC World in …

Volunteers are needed to help with Camden rough sleeper count

Someone sleeping on the street under a blanket.

Volunteers are being asked to help with counting the number of people sleeping rough in Camden this summer after concerns about the large increase in street homeless in the borough. "The Safer Streets Team will be carrying out a comprehensive count of people sleeping rough in Camden on a night in July and we are …

It is the increasing number of UK nationals not migrants who are pushing up rough sleeper numbers

Nationality statistics for rough sleepers.

The Times newspaper this morning runs a story with the misleading headline: "Migrants drive 50% rise in rough sleepers". In its article The Times reports on yesterday's release of official statistics of numbers of homeless people sleeping outside during the autumn of 2016. "More than 20 per cent of those identified as rough sleepers were …

Makers of docudrama hope to educate people about the realities of sleeping rough

Woman sleeping on the pavement.

A new film called Sleeping Rough will dramatise the lives of three people who tell their stories of how they came to be homeless and living on the streets. Henry Aughterson, a third year medical student at University College London (UCL) and who lives in Camden, took part in research for the film and told Fitzrovia News about the project …

Is rough sleeping in London really in decline?

Rough sleeping on pavement.

The latest statistics from the Greater London Authority (GLA) state that there are now significantly less people sleeping on the streets than there were a year ago. Yet local anecdotal evidence suggests that rough sleeping is not in decline. The latest quarterly rough sleeping figures for London which covers the period July to September 2016 …

Westminster Council seeks views on rough sleeping strategy

Westminster City Council is seeking views on its new draft Rough Sleeping Strategy which sets out how it will tackle the problem over the next three years. "Rough sleeping is a growing problem nationally, but is particularly acute in Westminster, which has by far the highest number of rough sleepers in the country", states the draft Rough Sleeping …

Is Camden Council telling the truth on rough sleeping?

Woman sleeping on the pavement.

Camden Council has told the government that there were only 15 rough sleepers on a "typical night" in the whole of the borough during the autumn of 2015, far fewer than the number in statistics published by the Greater London Authority. Camden didn't bother to go out and count rough sleepers but did an estimate instead, yet …

Soup kitchen launches emergency appeal after rise in rough sleepers and cuts to benefits

Man handed a plate of food.

A small charity serving free food and handing out warm clothing for the homeless and those living in poverty has seen an increase in demand for its service this winter but is struggling to cover its own running costs. The Soup Kitchen at the rear of the American International Church in Tottenham Court Road is open for two hours, five …

Coffee shop does things differently and shows compassion for the homeless

Man sitting outside cafe.

A speciality coffee shop which prides itself on doing things differently is showing compassion for Fitzrovia's rough sleepers by asking its customers to donate a coffee so that a homeless person can come in and enjoy a free cup. The initiative which started this spring is in stark contrast to the Fitzrovia Business Improvement District …

Homelessness is not a ‘lifestyle choice’

A man under a blanket on a park bench.

“When one has consorted with them, and found that they are ordinary human beings, one cannot help being struck by the curious attitude that society takes towards them,” wrote George Orwell about the homeless in his 1933 memoir, Down and Out in Paris and London. What would Orwell, who championed clarity and transparency in writing, …

Squatting collective occupy building in Newman Street

Front of building with anti-capitalist banner.

A group of people calling themselves Squatters and Homeless Autonomy (SHA) have been occupying a commercial building in Fitzrovia since last week in protest against homelessness. The building at 60 Newman Street was previously the offices for Ramboll, a group of consulting engineers, designers and management consultants. In the window of the building SHA have displayed anti-capitalist …

Counting rough sleepers in the London Borough of Camden

cover of rough sleepers report.

Camden Council says the are only five rough sleepers in the whole of the borough, far fewer than neighbouring Westminster, Islington or the City of London, according to the official figures published in February. But anyone walking through Camden late at night or in the early morning will think that five is not a credible number, nor does it …

Business group says homeless choose to sleep rough on London’s streets

Front of building on Fitzroy Street.

A business group in Fitzrovia has told its members that there is enough accommodation on offer for homeless people and that the vast majority of rough sleepers choose to stay on the streets, an investigation by Fitzrovia News has found. The claim by the business group comes after government statistics released in February showed a huge increase …

Cold weather initiative takes in record number of street sleepers in Camden

Screenshots of mobile app.

Camden's Street Safe Team (SST) has been out in the borough recently finding rough sleepers and offering them a bed under the Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP) scheme. They have also produced a mobile app to make it easier for the public to help Camden's street sleepers and get them the support they need. SWEP is …

‘Love Activists’ find new home in Fitzrovia

Front of building.

The Love Activists direct action group who had occupied the former Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) building near Trafalgar Square in December are currently occupying an empty commercial building in Rathbone Place. The group who had set up a food bank and soup kitchen at the RBS building were evicted by bailiffs and the police on …