Thames Reach has joined forces with the Canal & River Trust to help people sleeping rough on the capital’s towpaths escape homelessness and engage with the services that can help them get their lives back on track.
Regular patrols of Thames Reach outreach workers and Canal & River Trust towpath rangers have covered hundreds of miles over the past 18 months and have found more than 50 people sleeping rough.
Dick Vincent, Canal & River Trust towpath ranger, said: “We know there are some rough sleeping hotspots across canals and rivers in London and wanted to work with the professionals from Thames Reach to help. They are the experts and can provide the right advice and services, so together we can encourage people to find safer alternatives to sleeping outside. The partnership is in its early days, but we’re pleased with the progress being made so far.”
Jude Cross, Thames Reach’s area director for outreach, said: ““To date through the support of the Canal & River Trust we have been able to identify and support 40 people to move away from a rough sleeping lifestyle and into accommodation. We are working with others to enable them to get the support they need to move on also. As the landowner, the approach the Canal & River Trust have shown in engaging with Thames Reach is one that is to be commended and has made a positive difference in the lives of those that are vulnerable and excluded from society.”