Homelessness charities gear up for Christmas

Crisis, the Salvation Army and others will help thousands of people in London and round the country over the next two weeks

In the warm: Christmas in a Crisis shelter
In the warm: Christmas in a Crisis shelter

Homelessness charities have swung into action to help people facing freezing nights out on the streets in the  Christmas period.

St Mungo's opened a severe weather shelter in north London on 17 December when temperatures fell below 0°C.

The shelter has since been taken over by Crisis, which is running nine Christmas centres providing food, companionship, health treatment and other services to an estimated 2,000 homeless people between 23 and 30 December.

A spokeswoman for Crisis said: "We hope this will be the beginning of a change in people's lives and that they will come to us for more help in the new year."

Thames Reach has organised extra shifts over the festive period and launched a campaign asking people to donate their last hour's pay of the decade. Volunteers for the Salvation Army will provide Christmas dinners in community churches and on the streets across the UK.

Charities offering longer-term accommodation, such as Depaul UK and Centrepoint, are organising dinner and celebrations for their residents on Christmas day.



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