Run by the charity MyBnk, The Money House, which since 2013 has saved nearly 4,000 teenagers from eviction, was awarded first place and a grant of £30,000 by a panel of judges convened by the London Housing Foundation.
Project head of education Nick Smith-Patel said: “This project has so much potential, we’re just scratching the surface, every young Londoner moving into independent living needs this experience. We’ll be putting much of the award fund into meeting the needs of unaccompanied asylum seekers - a growing cohort, especially in Westminster.”
At the awards, run in partnership with the Evening Standard’s Homeless Fund, three other projects were awarded cash prizes and presented with trophies by Deputy Mayor of London for Housing and Residential Development Tom Copley.
The Camden Health Improvement Practice, a GP outreach service which has helped produce a rise in life expectancy for homeless people in the borough from 47 years to 54, and Southwark Law Centre’s Legal Advocacy Service, which gives homeless patients at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals often life-saving legal advice, came in jointly in second place.
The projects will receive £20,000 each to build upon their work.
St Mungo’s Westminster Street Outreach Service, which played a crucial role in the government’s ‘Everyone In’ scheme during the pandemic, was awarded third place and a grant of £10,000.
This year’s Awards, in their 21st year, were held at Union Chapel in Islington on Thursday. They also saw a special presentation for Des Scott, recently the CEO of charity Church Army.
Mr Scott was acknowledged by the Standard’s Homeless Fund for his more than 30 years of dedication to helping those experiencing homelessness, and for his personal contribution in the founding of London’s first 24/7 drop-in centre for homeless women at the Marylebone Project, funded through this newspaper’s appeal.
Reflecting on the achievement of opening the 24/7 centre, Mr Scott said: “One of the things that’s most important about the opening is that for lots of women, the problems don’t happen between 9-5. The problems happen when a partner comes home drunk at night, or whenever the sun goes down and it gets cold and they get abused on the streets.”
“Having a place where they can go at any time of the day or night, knowing they’ll get a warm cup of tea and a welcome, and knowing that the people there have got your back - it helps them take the next step.”
To find out more about the London Homelessness Awards and the successful projects visit lhawards.org.uk.