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Crisis issues urgent appeal to find buildings for Christmas

Homelessness charity Crisis is appealing to the public and businesses to contact them about any suitable buildings in London it can convert into temporary centres for homeless people this Christmas.

The charity is concerned that if five more buildings aren't found imminently the event which has now been running for 35 years will not run at full capacity this year.

For Crisis Open Christmas to reach its objective of supporting the capital's homeless five further venues need to be found within inner London and be available from 1 December until early January with capacities for around 150-300 guests. These buildings will be used together with three venues which have already been identified as temporary centres during Christmas.

The building search will help Crisis rebuild the lives of homeless people in London by offering safe and supportive environments for them during the festive season. The charity hopes to support around 2000 homeless people will be able to access vital support within the centres including companionship, food and a safe place to sleep as well as access to support services and educational opportunities that can help them find a route out of homelessness.

The Charity will pay all rates, insurance and utility bills and will undertake to return the building to the donor in exactly the same order as when it was handed over.

In previous years the charity has used buildings in Mandela Way and Southwark Street for its Open Christmas – and is once again looking for premises in the SE1 area.

"Homeless people depend upon this vital service and it hinges on our finding suitable venues such as office buildings," says operations manager Pete McGee.

"By helping us find these buildings you will be positively affecting the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society. If you do know of somewhere please give us a call and help us make a difference to homeless people this Christmas.

"Crisis Open Christmas will not only help support homeless people in the capital over the festive season but will also provide them with important life skills which can help them secure their own independent futures."

The buildings need to have the following requirements:
• Approximately 30,000 sq ft – 60,000 sq ft in size
• Located within inner London and have good public transport links
• Kitchens or areas that can be converted into kitchens
• External space for parking
• Toilet and washing facilities or space and drainage for them to be installed
• Clean and dry throughout
• Preferably away from residential areas

If you know of any suitable buildings, please contact Pete McGee at Crisis on 020 7426 3821 or pete.mcgee@crisis.org.uk

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