02 Dec Crystal Palace homeless shelter: Eagles to offer rough sleepers place to stay in extreme weather conditions at Selhurst Park once again
For the second straight year, rough sleepers can find a temporary place to stay at Crystal Palace homeless shelter as the Premier League side again open its doors to rough sleepers this winter.
When temperatures fall below freezing, the club will again turn the Glaziers lounge into a shelter to provide a place to stay for rough sleepers. The initiative is run in tandem with Croydon Council and will be able to house 10 rough sleepers per night.
New arrivals are provided with ‘a camp bed for the night, a hot evening meal, breakfast and washing facilities before the space is converted back for normal club use each morning’. Croydon Council’s Gateway homelessness prevention service will aim to advise rough sleepers on what they can do to change their fortunes for the better.
CPFC’s chief executive, Phil Alexander, offered his thoughts on the importance of the scheme and why the club brought it back for a second year: “Following the success of the scheme last winter, we are re-opening our emergency shelter to help those most in need. We are working in collaboration with Croydon Council and our objective is not only to give rough sleepers a bed for the night, but also to help get them off the streets.
“Last year, we were able to find jobs for two people referred to the shelter. We are very grateful to all the volunteers and club staff who give their time to make this happen and to Sainsbury’s Crystal Palace for donating food.”
Over half of the country’s homeless people reside in London, with 170,000 people out of 320,000 nationwide seeking shelter wherever they can in the nation’s capital. In 2018, it was reported by Shelter that there were around 5700 homeless people in the borough, with 31 categorised as rough sleepers. This means that roughly 1 in every 67 people in Croydon are homeless.
The project is believed to be the first of its kind; a football club converting one of its lounges to help rough sleepers. Back in February 2018, it was reported that Aston Villa, Norwich and rugby union side Leicester Tigers all reached out to Crystal Palace for advice on how to mirror their homeless scheme, which is expected to continue for ‘years to come’.