Emergency homeless shelters will now open in London on every day of sub-zero temperatures as part of a push by Sadiq Khan to combat rough sleeping.
Under the previous policy, brought in under Boris Johnson, three consecutive days of freezing temperatures had to be forecast before the emergency shelters opened their doors.
“As Mayor, I am investing in services right across the capital and doing everything within my power to tackle this issue,” Khan said.
“But the government also needs to play its part by providing additional funding so that we can boost much-needed services in London, and by tackling the long-term causes of homelessness and rough sleeping.”
Since 2010, the number of people seen sleeping on the streets of the capital has doubled from 3,975 to more than 8,000.
Khan said: “We’ve already started to make progress in London, but it’s still shocking that so many people in our city feel they have no choice but to sleep on the streets.
“We must continue to take action because one person sleeping rough is always one too many.”
The move to open emergency shelters more frequently comes alongside the creation of the London Homeless Charities Group – a coalition of 18 charities brought together to give Londoners a single donation point to help rough sleepers.
Work has also begun on a new permanent hub in Hackney for the ‘No Second Night Out ’ service, which provides rapid help to new rough sleepers in an attempt to their time on the streets to just one night.
“I know there are millions of Londoners who want to do something to help rough sleepers get off the streets for good,” the Mayor said.
“I urge Londoners to donate and join me in helping people sleeping on our streets to connect with vital services.”