London

Homeless charity Crisis warns of Christmas bed shortage

A charity for homeless people has warned it faces a bed shortage over Christmas if it fails to find a building to house one of its shelters.

More than 8,000 volunteers are poised to help run nine Crisis centres across London between 23 and 30 December.

But after a last-minute withdrawal the charity will be one building and 150 beds short of its target.

It has appealed to anyone who can offer empty buildings, preferably in east or south-east London, to contact them.

Over Christmas, Crisis expects to welcome more than 2,500 single homeless people to its centres, which provide companionship and support.

Mick Bateman, Head of Crisis at Christmas, said: "Though we have managed to secure eight buildings for Crisis at Christmas 2010, we are still one short.

"Our fear is that without this last building we will be 150 beds short of our target, and unable to accommodate many who desperately need a bed over Christmas."

Crisis can make use of a wide variety of buildings which need to offer a mix of interior rooms, functioning water, electricity, gas and heating, kitchen space and be close to public transport.

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