The number of people sleeping rough in London has increased by almost a quarter – 24% – in the past year, according to official figures, meaning more than 3,600 people slept on the capital’s streets between June and September.
Over half were found sleeping rough for the first time by outreach teams – 35% more than the same time last year – as street homelessness in London heads back towards pre-pandemic levels, owed in part to rising private rents, which are up 16% year-on-year, according to Rightmove.
Some 481 people are now deemed to be living on the streets full-time – up from 264 at the start of the pandemic.
To help highlight the problem, estate agents have been taking part in an annual Sleep-Out challenge.
A total of 11 agents working at Marsh & Parsons were among around 200 people taking part in this year’s event, which took place on the grounds of InSpire at St Peters, a church near to Elephant & Castle.
Dressed in their warmest coats, scarves and gloves, the agents prepared for the night ahead and were offered a moving speech about the wonderful work the charity does for those who find themselves homeless by Ian Steuart Fothringham, Streets of London director. There was also a performance from The Dohl Foundation, a dhol drum institute in London playing bhangra music.
The London-based estate agency raised over £2,741 for the Streets of London charity after taking part in the Sleep-Out challenge.
Patrick Littlemore, chief executive at Marsh & Parsons, said: “We are delighted with the amount raised for this worthy cause and I would like to congratulate those across the business who took part in this year’s annual Sleep-Out.
“Homelessness is a huge problem in London and I am so proud of our people for rallying together to raise awareness. Our charity work is invaluable as it encourages teamwork and resilience – which is why we will always strive to raise funding and awareness for charities as important as Streets of London.”
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