Figures showed that 8,096 people slept in the cold on the streets of London last year for at least one night. That’s a 7% increase of rough sleepers since last year.
Mayor Sadiq Khan has established a taskforce called No Nights Sleeping Rough which will get key players to help prevent rough sleeping, especially with young people.
The taskforce will have government officials at five different boroughs to help the highest amount of rough sleepers. These are Westminster, Camden, Lambeth, Tower Hamlets and the City. The leading charities involved are Crisis, St Mungo’s, Thames Reach and Homeless Link.
The taskforce will be led by deputy mayor for housing James Murray who will also work with the Metropolitan Police, NHS and Transport for London to solve specific problems such as housing and mental health provisions for rough sleepers to help them get back on their feet and to get them off the streets.
Sadiq Khan states, “I’m determined to tackle the scourge of homelessness.”
What do I think
As a young person I think the idea of anyone being homeless, especially young people is upsetting. They have problems such as thinking about their future and ongoing issues at home. The problems with their parents are usually what cause young people to become homeless. They leave home seeking independence and freedom, however they aren’t ready and realise living alone isn’t easy.
Sadiq Khan dealing with the problem is good and the taskforce working with the police is a good idea as they deal with homeless young people who sometimes get involved with crime to survive on the streets.
Exposure made a short film called Homeless Truths about a young homeless boy who experiences problems at home. 16-year-old Riley is at odds with his mum. He feels like his mum is stressing him out so he leaves the house, thinking he can live on his own, which teaches Riley a really important lesson in life.
The short film was set in Barnet and commissioned by Barnet Homes.