Search

London Assembly’s Biggs hunt for rough sleepers on streets

PUBLISHED: 18:35 16 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:34 05 October 2010

VOLUNTEERS on their nightly rescue mission to reach rough sleepers were joined by London Assembly member John Biggs in their campaign to help the homeless. City Hall’s East London representative saw the harsh conditions that rough sleepers face on his crisis tour

By Mike Brooke

VOLUNTEERS on their nightly rescue mission to reach rough sleepers were joined by London Assembly member John Biggs in their campaign to help the homeless.

City Hall's East London representative saw the harsh conditions that the East End's rough sleepers face on his fact-finding crisis tour.

"I was moved by what I saw," he said. "Our ability to be shocked has declined with 24-hour media.

"We see it as 'normal' when a person is sleeping on the street and make assumptions it happens through choice or is self-inflicted, then walk the other way."

But he warns: "Life is rarely that simple. Many left on the streets will not survive long."

RESCUE

The Assembly member was invited by volunteers from the Thames Reach homeless charity to join their street rescue service on a night-time patrol in the East End.

They visited several rough sleeping sites and met some of those living on the street.

Most can point back to a life when they had a roof over their head and the support of others, he found.

Biggs now plans to press London Mayor Boris Johnson to "keep his promise" to end rough sleeping by 2012.

He is also urging people to volunteer and help Thames Reach, tackle London's chronic 'rough sleeper' crisis directly.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser