Crystal Palace Football Club is opening up its Selhurst Park stadium to provide local homeless people with shelter over the winter months.
The club is working together with Croydon Council to provide meals, cleaning facilities and a warm bed.
Crystal Palace FC chief executive Phil Alexander said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Croydon Council and their partner agencies to ensure that rough sleepers can find an emergency shelter in the event of severe winter weather.”
The Premier League football club stated that they would take up to ten rough sleepers per night when the stadium isn’t being used for home games. “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.”
Croydon is the tenth worst London borough for homelessness. According to figures compiled by Combined Homeless And Information Network (CHAIN) there were 234 rough sleepers in Croydon in 2017/18, the last year for which figures are available, up from 192 in 2016/17. CHAIN is a multi-agency database,commissioned and funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and managed by St Mungo’s.
Councillor Alison Butler added: “Freezing temperatures are a particular safety risk for rough sleepers and this is a wonderful gesture by Crystal Palace for helping us reduce that risk. I do hope that the actions and support of our local Premier League football club will encourage more businesses in Croydon to get in touch and do what they can to help us address homelessness.”