New rough sleeping assessment centre opens in Square Mile

The City of London Corporation has welcomed its first service users to a state-of-the-art new Rough Sleeping Assessment Centre.

The Square Mile-based residential service opened on Wednesday (13/03) and offers 14 short-stay beds to rough sleepers.

The service is funded by the City of London Corporation and operated by London-based charity Thames Reach. The organisation helps people who are homeless or vulnerable to find homes, build supportive relationships, and lead fulfilling lives.

Thames Reach will provide 24/7 support, 365 days a year, to a range of clients, many of whom will have complex needs.

They will work closely with health and social care providers to establish the best routes away from rough sleeping for clients and help them in to permanent accommodation.

The assessment centre is situated in a former school building in the grounds of Church of Holy Sepulchre on Snow Hill Court.

The building has been completely refurbished and designed with the needs of rough sleepers in mind.

Chairman of the City Corporation’s Community and Children’s Services Committee, Ruby Sayed, said:

"These new facilities will help reduce long-term rough sleeping in the Square Mile.

"Every single person has the right to feel safe, secure, and protected, and we are proud to offer our support to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

"The City Corporation works year-round helping rough sleepers into accommodation. We are determined to prevent rough sleeping and, when it does occur, we work to ensure that it is rare, brief, and non-recurring.

"We are absolutely committed to addressing the root causes of homelessness – an issue that remains a significant challenge, right across London."

Chair of the City Corporation’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Sub Committee, Eamonn Mullay, said:

“At our new homelessness and rough sleeping assessment centre it’s not just about getting people off the streets and into a bed. It is also about providing an environment in which to recover, feel safe, and be supported.

“The last few years of hard work have resulted in this amazing flagship facility which will help support people for years to come.

“Our commissioned outreach services are on the streets looking out for rough sleepers every day to offer support. 

“By working closely with Thames Reach we aim to reduce long term rough sleeping, and ensure that people who arrive to the streets spend no more than one night out.”

Bill Tidnam, Thames Reach Chief Executive Officer, said: “The new assessment centre will mean that our outreach team in the City will be able to give people who are sleeping on the streets of the City a credible, local offer of accommodation. 

“This in turn will help us to complete assessments, and quickly understand their needs and the options available to them far more effectively than trying to do this on the streets; and will help us help people find the right route away from homelessness. 

“We look forward to continuing to work with the City Corporation to make sure that people who find themselves on the streets can get the help they need.”

The City Corporation also invests £700,000 every year in a Grange Road hostel run by St Mungo’s in Southwark. It helps some of the Square Mile’s most vulnerable rough sleepers with complex needs. 


About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally successful UK – www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

About Thames Reach:

Thames Reach is a London-based charity helping people affected by homelessness to find decent homes, build supportive relationships, and lead fulfilling lives.

Their vision is of a society where no one need sleep rough on the streets. They deliver street outreach 365 nights a year, finding and supporting people who are sleeping rough.