Premier League football club opens its doors for the homeless

It’s that time of year again… Crystal Palace Football Club is re-opening its extreme weather emergency shelter for rough sleepers at Selhurst Park this winter.

Whenever the overnight temperature is forecast to fall below freezing, the Glaziers Lounge at Selhurst Park will be converted into a temporary overnight shelter for up to 10 rough sleepers, staffed by volunteers, including club staff, and Croydon Council’s homelessness services.

New arrivals are welcomed with a camp bed for the night, a hot evening meal, breakfast and washing facilities before the space is converted back for normal club use each morning.

According to a joint statement issued by the club and the council, “Rough sleepers are offered advice by staff from Croydon Council’s Gateway homelessness prevention service and support workers from Thames Reach, who will try to help the guests find long-term alternatives to rough sleeping.

“When Selhurst Park is unavailable because of scheduled home matches, and over the Christmas period, the council will continue to refer rough sleepers to other emergency shelters in Croydon and central London.”

Crystal Palace FC’s chief executive Phil Alexander said: “Following the success of the scheme last winter, we are re-opening our emergency shelter to help those most in need. We are working in collaboration with Croydon Council and our objective is not only to give rough sleepers a bed for the night, but also to help get them off the streets.

“Last year, we were able to find jobs for two people referred to the shelter.

“We are very grateful to all the volunteers and club staff who give their time to make this happen and to Sainsbury’s Crystal Palace for donating food.”

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3 Responses to Premier League football club opens its doors for the homeless

  1. Stephen Pollard says:

    This is a very welcome and caring gesture from CPFC who are not by any means the richest of football clubs but are showing themselves to be one of the most charitable. The fact that 2 people from the shelter were given jobs last year is very excellent news.

  2. CC says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I do think this is a great thing CP FC are doing! However, I can never understand why organisations limit the assistance that they can offer. If they can help the homeless during ‘extreme weather’ periods, there really should be no reason why their doors cannot be open throughout the rest of the year (well, apart from on match days).

    • Stephen Pollard says:

      Hi CC, the extreme cold weather is the main factor at this time of year and full marks for CPFC for recognising this, and doing their bit, but really it is for governments or charity organisations to release funds to make a full commitment for permanent care of the welfare of the homeless. You hear many promises by politicians but almost all are empty words.

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