Unable to offer rough sleepers a dormitory bed this year due to Covid-19, the homeless charity Crisis is to pay for a two-week hotel stay including three meals a day.
London’s homeless offered a two-week hotel stay over Christmas
Homeless people in London will be treated to a two-week hotel break over Christmas, including three meals a day, virtual celebrity entertainment, and the residents will also be provided with health services in the hotel.
Stay includes three meals a day and celebrity entertainment
London’s homeless charity Crisis has paid for 517 hotel rooms to house rough-sleepers over the holiday period. The annual initiative normally sees Crisis housing the homeless in dormitory-style accommodation. But this year, with the risk of COVID-19 transmission, the charity has booked out four London hotels, provided by the London Hotel Group for discounted rates.
“Normally, we would be running 10 centres with 4,000 guests and 12,000 volunteers,” says Crisis Christmas boss Ian Richards in an interview with The Sunday Times.
“Then this came along, and we just really had to stop and reinvent the wheel from scratch.
“We didn’t want to do anything less. Our first objective was to offer as much as we always have done in a different way.”
Guests will be given three hot meals a day, delivered by room service. Volunteers have also created a special app that will allow residents to stream entertainment from a phone, and let them know about health services that can be used during their stay.
Celebrities have joined in on the initiative, with The Crown‘s Imelda Staunton and pop star Ellie Goulding among the stars appearing on a virtual Christmas quiz on 25 December.
The number of people living on the streets in London is understood to have increased as the year comes to an end. During the UK’s first lockdown, 15,000 government-funded hotel stays were offered to rough sleepers.
The scheme was not repeated in the second lockdown, but funding was allocated to organisations and councils instead.
5 WAYS TO HELP THE HOMELESS (WITH PICTURES)
There are lots of other ways to help homeless people. Donating food and clothing to homeless shelters is a great way to help. You could also volunteer your time with such an organisation. Educate yourself and others about homelessness and share facts about homelessness with others. Use letters to your local newspaper, blog posts, and social media to spread the word about how homelessness is a problem and what others can do to help.