St Mungo’s opens emergency shelter to cope with cold snap

London homeless charity St Mungo’s has opened an emergency shelter for rough sleepers who could be at risk of dying in the current cold snap in the capital.

The charity is providing 25 extra beds at accommodation in Islington, north London. This is the second time in less than a month that the charity has had to provide more warm beds this winter following one of the coldest Decembers in 30 years. It previously operated an emergency shelter from 17 – 23 December 2009.

Charles Fraser, chief executive of St Mungo’s, said: “These extra beds offer a vital life line for the extremely vulnerable living on London’s streets during these freezing days and nights. As temperatures drop again across London there is a real danger that people will lose their lives if they sleep in the open.”

The service is provided when the weather is predicted to drop below zero degrees centigrade for three consecutive nights and is funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Meanwhile, Homeless Link, the umbrella body for homelessness organisations, has published information about services available for rough sleepers, including outreach and winter shelters.

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