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  • Homelessness on the rise, according to various reports from British charities

    Homelessness on the rise, according to various reports from British charities | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 January 2019

A lounge at the south London ground can be turned into a temporary overnight shelter for up 10 rough sleepers whenever temperatures are forecast to drop below freezing.

Crystal Palace has opened up their Selhurst Park stadium to rough sleepers seeking shelter from the winter weather, the English Premier League side said.

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Under a deal with the Croydon Council local authority, people formally identified as sleeping rough are referred to Selhurst Park, where they can access a camp bed for the night, a hot evening meal, breakfast and washing facilities.

Eight people used the shelter on Thursday night, the first time it was opened, the club said in a statement. The lounge was then converted back again on Friday morning.

"The club wants to be a force for good in the community and we are happy to do our bit to help those most in need," said chief executive Phil Alexander.

More than half of homeless families in UK have at least one adult in work after a sharp rise in the number of employed people unable to afford a secure home, Shelter, a leading homelessness charity found in a report released last July. 

More than 33,000 working families do not have a stable place to live, a 73 percent rise from 2013, mostly the fault of rising private rents, a freeze on benefits and a shortage of social housing.

Losing a tenancy is now the single biggest cause of homelessness in Britain, accounting for 27 percent of all households accepted as homeless in the last year, said Shelter. One in 200 people in Britain is now homeless, an increase of 4 percent in less than a year.

Overall, homelessness has risen in England for more than six years, with 80,000 families in temporary accommodation including more than 120,000 children, government data shows.

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