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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Controversial strategy continues in City of London

April 15 2011
Poncho goes on. And on. And on...

The City of London has no plans to end Operation Poncho, the strategy to reduce homelessness in the area to zero.

The Pavement asked whether there were plans to discontinue Poncho, and was told that the City is "not considering ending it". According to Susanna Howard, of the City of London Corporation, the plan has so far succeeded in reducing the number of rough sleepers from 69 to 20.

Operation Poncho has been criticised by some because of ‘hot-washing’, the practise of spraying hot water over areas where rough sleepers are known to bed down. According to the Corporation, which works alongside City of London Police and the homeless charity Broadway, the sites that are washed down are "chosen by the level of detritus seen by our outreach workers, members of the public and businesses".

Outreach workers aim to house people in private rented accommodation, social housing or hostels. The Corporation explained that the allocation of housing is "decided on an individual basis according to need."