A red bus passes by the "Big Ben" in snow in central London, Britain, on Jan. 13, 2017. (Xinhua/Han Yan)
LONDON, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- London mayor Sadiq Khan unveiled a 388,000-U.S.-dollar plan on Tuesday to help hundreds of rough sleepers who use buses in Britain's capital as a temporary home during the night.
Increasing numbers of homeless people in London are using all-night buses and underground trains as a place to sleep during the twilight hours. Now Khan has announced special funding for an outreach team to help provide accommodation and support services for these people.
Khan said the team would also help reconnect people with family and friends to prevent them from ending up sleeping on the streets.
Transport for London (TfL) data has revealed that the number of homeless people sleeping on night buses in winter 2016 reflects a trend of rising homelessness seen more widely across the capital in recent years.
Khan said: "Over the last year, we've seen the rise in rough sleeping halted for the first time in nearly a decade -- but even one person ending up in this position is too many, and I am determined to make sure homeless people get the support they need...I'll continue to work closely with councils, homeless organisations, and government to make sure there is a way off the street for every rough sleeper in London."
The mayor's announcement comes ahead of the launch of his draft London housing strategy for consultation in early September, which will set out Khan's central plan to tackle homelessness.
The latest statistics show around 8,000 homeless people are currently living on the streets of London.