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Crisis at Christmas opens its doors for another year

Crisis at Christmas today opens its doors to an expected 4,500 guests in 15 centres across the country.

Run by an army of more than 11,000 volunteers, the centres in London, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Newcastle and Coventry provide warmth, companionship and three hot meals a day. Guests also receive healthcare and specialist advice on housing, work and benefits and an introduction to the life-changing opportunities on offer at Crisis centres across the country during the year ahead.

Crisis has also released new research revealing more than 170,000 families and individuals across Britain are experiencing the worst forms of homelessness. This includes people sleeping on our streets, sofa-surfing with strangers, living in hostels, and stuck in other dangerous situations.

The charity is now urging governments in Westminster, Scotland and Wales to take immediate action to solve the disaster while calling on the public to support its Christmas appeal as it opens its Christmas centres today.

Chief Executive of Crisis Jon Sparkes said:

“Christmas can be an incredibly difficult time for people who are homeless. While others are celebrating with family and friends, homeless people face a daily struggle just to stay safe and warm.

“This new research echoes what we see every day in our frontline work – that there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ homeless person, and that this crisis is affecting people who range from young care-leavers to pensioners. And, while rough sleeping is the most visible form of homelessness, for every person on our streets there are another twelve families or individuals experiencing other terrible situations like sofa-surfing and living in cramped B&Bs.

“That’s why we open our Christmas centres to thousands of people in need. We offer our guests somewhere safe to spend Christmas and we introduce them to our year-long services to help them leave homelessness behind. This is only possible due to our supporters and volunteers’ incredible generosity, and we hope the public will help us to keep doing this until all of Britain’s governments put in place the policies that will end homelessness for good.”

In the short-term, the public can donate £28.18 to reserve a place for a homeless person at one of Crisis’ centres this Christmas.