Finding shelter: Rough sleeping and homelessness during and after coronavirus

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This webinar explored how the coronavirus crisis is affecting Londoners who are homeless or sleeping rough, and how we can challenge policymakers and practitioners to improve the support available to them.

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About the event

London has ten times the rate of homelessness compared to the rest of England, with 70 per cent of homeless families living in the capital. The issue spans from rough sleeping to temporary housing and ‘hidden’ homelessness, like sofa-surfing.

As coronavirus reached the capital, councils, charities and health services urgently worked together to house the homeless with significant success. But as the crisis continues there is a new wave of rough sleepers, and more long-term solutions will need to be implemented. Despite these challenges, third and public sector leaders note that the crisis also presents an opportunity to give people support for housing, substance abuse, mental health and employment, putting them on a better footing when the lockdown is lifted.

How have London’s councils, charities and health services worked together during the crisis? What new models, partnerships and ways of working are emerging and how can these be harnessed to support the homeless in the future? What extra support is needed at a local level and what should the government focus on?


  • Petra Salva, Director of Rough Sleeping, Migrants and Westminster services, St Mungo’s
  • David Eastwood, Rough Sleeping Lead Manager, Greater London Authority
  • Guy Arnold, Commissioner Rough Sleeping, London Borough of Camden
  • Richard Brown, Deputy Director, Centre for London (Chair)