The Outside Project, an LGBTQ+ community shelter, centre and domestic abuse refuge, has been supported by the Mayor of London in securing a permanent, purpose-built premises for its shelter.
On 10 July, Sadiq Khan confirmed an additional £20 million of funding will be invested to tackle the issue of sleeping rough in the capital.
More than three quarters (£17.27m) of the money announced will be used to deliver the No Second Night Out (NSNO) service from 1 April 2024 to 21 March 2027, which will exist to support those sleeping on the streets for the first time.
The remaining £2.75m will be spent on setting up other services to help people facing homelessness, part of which will support The Outside Project in its delivery of a shelter service.
The organisation told GAY TIMES that the continued funding was essential in securing the new building.
It recently broadened its services to offer a specialist outreach service in Westminster, which has by far the highest population of homeless people (2,050 identified) in London, followed by Camden (719) and Lambeth (623), respectively.
“This unique by and for service would not be possible without the ongoing funding commitment from the Mayor of London”
“Following our community-led winter shelter pilot in 2017 we have developed into a 24/7 housing provision for LGBTIQ+ people,” Carla Ecola, Managing Director of The Outside Project, an LGBTQ+ community shelter, centre and domestic abuse refuge in London, explained. “This unique by and for service would not be possible without the ongoing funding commitment from the Mayor of London since 2018.”
Other funding will go to services such as StreetLink, which works across London to provide a triage phone line for those experiencing homelessness for the first time.
The announcement comes after statistics from the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) showed that a total of 10,053 people were sleeping rough in London from 2022-23, a 21 per cent increase from 8,329 people in 2021/22.
Those doing so for the first time represented 64 per cent of this year’s total.
“It is one of my top priorities as Mayor is to end rough sleeping in the capital”
Khan said the figures “are deeply alarming” and show the need for the additional funding.
“From emergency accommodation, to outreach and training, this new funding will boost pan-London support services and help ensure that those sleeping rough can access the vital help they need quicker, and leave the streets for good,” he continued.
“It is one of my top priorities as Mayor is to end rough sleeping in the capital for good, and create a better, fairer London for all.”
More information about The Outside Project can be found here.