Rough sleepers like Martin, a recently-sacked chef from Poland, are finding life under lockdown increasingly difficult and dangerous, writes The Guardian.
“London has become so strange and sad. The only people who are out look like they are looking for drugs. There are a lot of crazy people with knives,” he said.
The government says it has housed 90% of those who were sleeping rough nationally by paying for hotel rooms, in an unprecedented drive over the past month to stop the spread of Covid-19, with 5,400 housed including 1,800 in 10 hotels across London. But in the capital, hundreds of tents and cardboard box encampments remain and conditions are getting much harsher for those still – or newly – on the streets.
The city’s day centres have been closed to prevent the transmission of the virus, leaving the homeless with no place to shower or wash their clothes, no toilets and nowhere to access regular food supplies.