The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has previously promised “direct” offer of support for homeless but the organizations claim there has been no communication from his office so far. Sadiq Khan has been accused of paying “lip service” to rough sleepers in London.
More than 100 people are set to move out onto the streets on Monday morning after a judge ruled a derelict office block which has been housing rough sleepers over the past two weeks must be evicted. Sadiq Khan claimed his team had spoken to Westminster Council and made sure “help is at hand” for the rough sleepers following the eviction, saying there had been a “direct” offer of support.
“It’s shocking that some people sleeping rough feel they have no other option than to sleep in a derelict building. Ministers have simply got to do more to invest in services that provide a warm bed and a proper route off the streets for good,” said Sadiq Khan.
“My team have spoken to Westminster Council and made sure help is at hand, and we have made a direct offer of my “No Second Night Out” service as an extra protection for those rough sleepers when they are moved on from Great Portland Street,” he continued.
However, Jon Glackin, who runs Streets Kitchen revealed that the authorities had made no attempt to reach out to the group in order to come up with a solution. “No one has contacted me or Streets Kitchen. No emails, no phone calls. The only way I’m hearing about stuff is through journalists,” he said.
“We have been here for two weeks. Everybody has heard of this place. If, God forbid, there was a landslide in Chelsea and 100 residents were made homeless, Sadiq Khan would be straight down there. But we’ve got 100 people about to hit the streets he’s nowhere to be seen,” he continued.
“They say they’ve offered direct support but we haven’t seen it. It’s just lip service they’re paying to resolving homelessness. They’re not stepping up and doing what they should be doing,” Glackin added.
“Everybody is a bit nervous today because they’re going to hit the streets tomorrow. Nobody knows what they’re going to do. It’s quite traumatic,” he said.
“We’ve been rolling around in a van, trying to buy as many sleeping bags as we can with our recent appeal. At the very least we will hand people a good sleeping bag that we know will keep people alive that night,” Jon Glackin told the journalists.