Throughout Covid Rhythms Of Life have been feeding over 300 people per day
Double the normal amount.
People travelling from as far as Dulwich and Southwark.
While other charities have shut down because of Covid, ROL has stayed open – 365 days a year.
He was up to the early hours collecting food for the next day, donated by supermarkets, which he sorts into his fridges. His fridges are too small – the charity needs bigger fridges.
Organiser Andrew Faris, who founded Rhythms of Life, said the numbers of people queueing for food donations has more than doubled since the start of the pandemic.
“It is increasing drastically now,” said Andrew, who was a former rough sleeper himself. “The reality on the street for us is that the queues are getting longer and longer. Figures have gone up from about 80 in the queue to between 200 to 250 every day, and a lot of them are in real difficulty.
“A lot of the hotels that were providing emergency temporary accommodation are no longer available for the homeless guys. Until July last year, they had a place to stay. After that, some of them went back on the streets.
“Social distancing means that there are fewer people allowed in hostels;
you can’t have people sleeping in the halls like before because they would be too close.
Andrew knows everyone, and
“We see a lot of people in the queue who we never saw before.
“Some of them are travelling long distances into central London by bus because they cannot afford to buy any food.
“Quite a few have mentioned that since this started their housing situation has changed.”
Recent figures show the number of permanent rough sleepers known to be living on London’s streets has risen by almost a quarter in three months.
There were higher numbers of rough sleepers observed who were not seen regularly enough to be deemed as living on the streets