No help for homeless: Merton night shelter remains closed despite freezing temperatures


The scheme has no plans to reopen despite the cold weather.


By SWLondoner staff

The Merton winter night shelter has no plans to continue despite freezing temperatures across London.

The scheme, which ran for three months, was originally extended for four days at the end of February, as a result of cold weather.

Twelve homeless people were housed across seven different venues including Wimbledon Synagogue, Wimbledon Mosque, St Mary’s, St Winefride’s, Christ Church Colliers Wood, St Mark’s and St Andrew’s.

John Bush, a co-ordinator at St Mary’s Church, said: “The scheme has now finished and there are no plans to open up again.

“Merton council has a responsibility to street people when it gets below certain temperatures.

“We’ve lost all of our volunteers and venues, but we have a co-ordinators meeting tonight.”

Each venue hosted the night shelter for one day a week and each guest was given a sleeping bag which they could take with them from venue to venue.

A Wimbledon shop owner, Rahul Patel, said: “People only care about homeless schemes during the winter months. It’s really terrible.”

Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “When weather is forecast to be below zero for three consecutive nights, we provide emergency accommodation to people sleeping rough in Merton who are known to London Street Rescue. 

“Anyone who knows of somebody sleeping rough in Merton should call London Street Rescue and we will work with them to organise their immediate accommodation needs during the cold weather.”

Full details of the scheme can be found at

Photo courtesy of  Deadly Sirius, with thanks. 

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