Activism

Sadiq Khan gives UK’s first LGBTIQ shelter a new home in a fire station

The Mayor of London invested £50,000 in The Outside Project while calling for empty buildings in the capital to offer space for rough sleepers

Last week the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan visited the UK’s first permanent shelter for homeless LGBTIQ people after awarding it £50,000 from his Rough Sleeping Innovation Fund.

The Outside Project has moved into the disused Clerkenwell fire station, allowing them to provide a dedicated community centre offering safe daytime refuge, sexual health clinics and co-working space for marginalised groups.

The project also partnered with Stonewall Housing to give vulnerable LGBTIQ people access to wrap-around employment and housing support.

the outside project Clerkenwell fire station
khan5

Carla Ecola, founder of The Outside Project, said: “This centre will make an immeasurable difference to our guests who will always be loudly and proudly at the centre of the project. We’re grateful for the support from the Mayor of London, our LGBTIQ community and allies across the country. We can’t thank you enough for standing beside us.”

Khan worked with Islington Council and the London Fire Commissioner to make the building available for homelessness services until long-term plans for the station are made.

Sadiq khan the outside project
khan6

The Mayor of London said: “It is wrong that so many buildings across London stand empty when there’s a housing crisis and when they could be used to help homeless Londoners. The level of homelessness is a national disgrace and we need to do all we can to help people off the streets.

The shelter has already moved around – previously finding  home in Camden but once existed on Metallica’s old tour bus – it has now been fully funded for a year at the station.

According to the Albert Kennedy Trust, up to 24 per cent of the nation’s young rough sleeping population identify as LGBTIQ.

Stonewall CEO Bob Green called the shelter a space where LGBTIQ people could “celebrate their identity and achieve their full potential”.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
'We are here and we exist': Inside the neighbourhood offering sanctuary to queer Russians and Ukrainians
Pride

'We are here and we exist': Inside the neighbourhood offering sanctuary to queer Russians and Ukrainians

Actor Liz Carr says it hurts to hear her younger self 'wanted to die'
Liz Carr
Disability rights

Actor Liz Carr says it hurts to hear her younger self 'wanted to die'

Feeling like change in the UK isn't possible? Let these 28 purposeful campaigns prove otherwise
Activism

Feeling like change in the UK isn't possible? Let these 28 purposeful campaigns prove otherwise

Back to Black actor Eddie Marsan: 'There aren't any no-go areas in Tower Hamlets'
London

Back to Black actor Eddie Marsan: 'There aren't any no-go areas in Tower Hamlets'

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know