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The 21st London Homelessness Awards will take place on Thursday in partnership with the Evening Standard’s Homeless Fund.

For the last twenty years the London Homelessness Awards have been recognised as the premier awards for housing and homelessness organisations.

In that time over £500,000 has been distributed in prize money to organisations providing innovative and transformative services to people experiencing homelessness. The awards embrace innovation and encourage radical but practical solutions to homelessness and rough sleeping in London.

On Thursday, the 21st London Homelessness Awards will take place, in partnership with the Evening Standard’s Homeless Fund.

Winners over the year have included local authority teams, charities and organisations both large and small, and joint ventures by charities in the homeless and other sectors. The ceremony at which the winning projects are announced has become a high profile event, with the Deputy Mayor and senior figures from across the sector in attendance.

The awards were originally set up in memory of Andy Ludlow, Director of Housing and Social Services at Haringey Council.

Mr Ludlow was a pioneer in developing a holistic approach to fighting housing insecurity. After he died at the age of just 51 London’s housing directors set up the Andy Ludlow Homelessness Awards as a legacy and testament to his tireless work in the sector.

Reflecting on the longevity and sustained success of the Awards programme, Chair of the London Housing Foundation Ian Brady said:

“it is astonishing to think that this is the 21st London Homelessness Awards. Over the years we have awarded over half a million pounds to a wide range and variety of projects: large, small, local government and voluntary.

What strikes me is that throughout that time the sector has continued to develop and change. People and organisations have grown and innovated to meet the ever changing needs of people who experience homelessness or are at risk of losing their home.

In one sense we wish that the awards did not exist; that homelessness was no longer a problem for society. But until that day, celebrating the inspirational work staff do across the capital is a real privilege for us at London Housing Foundation.”

In the run up to the awards ceremony, which will take place at Union Chapel in Islington on October 14th, the Evening Standard has been looking in depth at each of the shortlisted projects, who could receive grants from an £80,000 prize pot.

The shortlisted six are:

Camden Health Improvement – a specialist homeless GP outreach service in Camden, who claim to have raised the average life expectancy of their patients from 47 up to 54 years old – bucking a depressing trend in the national average, which has seen life expectancy for homeless people fall.

MyBnk: The Money House – a youth homelessness prevention scheme targeting care leavers and vulnerable young adults about to move into social housing, teaching participants how to best manage tenancies, which has seen a 64% drop in evictions for those users at risk of becoming homeless.

Southwark Law Centre’s Homeless Patients Legal Advocacy Service – working in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust’s Homeless Health Team, Southwark Law Centre provides advice and legal representation for homeless hospital patients. The law centre’s specialist solicitors help patients with particularly complex immigration, housing or welfare benefits cases.

Standing Together and Solace Women’s Aid – a Housing First project based in Westminster, specifically targeting women who have experienced long term homelessness, any form of VAWG (violence against women and girls), or multiple disadvantages. Intensive ‘woman led’ support helps users maintain a tenancy and improves physical and mental wellbeing.

SJOG Hospitaller Services: Olallo House – an innovative intermediate care service opened in 2008 in response to multiple tuberculosis (TB) treatment failures and preventable deaths among people experiencing homeless with complex needs and No Recourse to Public Funds.

St Mungo’s Westminster SOS – through their Westminster Street outreach Service, St Mungo’s work 365 days of the year, early in the morning and late at night, to provide support for individuals rough sleeping in Westminster.

The awards are also sponsored by the London Housing Foundation, London Housing Directors, Mayor of London, Crisis and Shelter.

More details about the London Homelessness Awards can be found at www.lhawards.org.uk.

The street outreach service that has been a lifeline for rough sleepers in London during the pandemic