Christmas dinners have been served to Londoners who are reliant on the city’s homelessness services.
Hairdressers and opticians were also made available at City Hall before guests were given a three-course meal.
Last year, 8,855 people were seen rough sleeping in London, an 18% increase since last year, and more than double the number in 2010.
“Events like this help bring a sense of community back in to London,” Claire, a former rough sleeper, told the BBC.
Claire, who spent 30 years either living on the streets or in prison, said: “It’s the type of event that does matter. It forms partnerships and builds bonds.
“If it wasn’t for the support of St Mungo’s, I’d either be dead or doing what I was before.”
Guests were chosen from the thousands of Londoners that currently receive assistance from services funded by City Hall and delivered by charities St Mungo’s and Thames Reach.
But Claire said services were still “hit and miss”.
“Where I live I’m still waiting for support with my mental health,” she added.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “St Mungo’s and Thames Reach are struggling with finances.
“Since I became mayor we’ve more than doubled the amount of money we’ve spent on rough sleeping and the size of our outreach team.
“But we’re just scratching the surface. We’ve not got the money or the resources to do much more – as it is I’m criticised for going outside my remit and my power.
“It is both heartbreaking and shameful that in one of the richest cities in the world we still have the levels rough sleeping that we do.”
Last year 15,470 people were accepted as being homeless by London councils.
There were 55,000 families living in temporary accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts and hostels.
Hundreds more people are estimated to be sleeping on London’s night buses.
Petra Salva, Director of Rough Sleeper Services at St Mungo’s, said: “It’s wonderful that the Mayor has opened the doors of City Hall for this festive event.
“Christmas can be a time of mixed emotions for clients in our services and our staff work hard to support those who stay with us over the holiday period.”
Cardiff City chairman Mehmet Dalman says the club are targeting a younger manager to replace Neil Warnock and expect a quick appointment.
Warnock left the Championship club on Monday following three years in charge.
Dalman said owner Vincent Tan will play an active role in naming the 70-year-old’s successor.
“We’re down to a small number of names. I’d be surprised if we don’t announce something in the next 72 hours, certainly by the weekend,” he said.
Former Millwall manager Neil Harris is among the early favourites to replace Warnock, who Dalman said was relieved to leave his role.
Speaking to Radio Wales Breakfast with Claire Summers, Dalman claimed it was Warnock’s decision to leave the club who are14th in the Championship following Sunday’s 1-0 defeat by Bristol City.
“It was Neil’s decision to go,” he said.
“I really wanted him to stay until the end of the season, but he felt it was time for a change. I think he was quite relieved actually when I had a chat with him and we felt maybe it was right, so he left on his own terms.”
Dalman said Tan would have a say on who replaces Warnock.
“I think Vincent wants to take a much more hands-on involvement in (appointing) the next manager, which I think is right, after all he’s the owner of the club,” he said. “I think he wants somebody younger, maybe a little bit more (of an) offensive type of manager.”
Dalman added the club could consider a director of football type appointment in conjunction with the new manager, saying he would welcome “more football knowledge at board level.”
And, in terms of a new manager, he did not rule out a move for Harris, the 42-year-old currently out of work having left Millwall last month after four years with the south London club.
When asked specifically about bookmaker’s favourite Harris, Dalman said: “I don’t know. At the moment, we’re still going through the thought process, we’ll go through the names that we have and we’ll focus on one of them.”
Harris ‘worth a gamble’ – Kavanagh
Ex-Cardiff captain Graham Kavanagh says ex-Millwall boss Harris, 42, could be worth a “gamble” to replace Warnock.
Although he has only managed the Lions, ex-Republic of Ireland midfielder Kavanagh says Harris could do the job.
“If Neil Harris comes in I think it is a slight gamble,” said Kavanagh.
“He’s been in the Millwall job four years and hasn’t managed anywhere else, but he’s done a magnificent job.”
Harris, who scored 138 goals over two separate spells with Millwall as a player, took over as caretaker manager in March 2015 following their relegation to League One.
He guided the Lions to promotion back to the second tier in 2017, after reaching the League One play-off final for a second consecutive season, while the London club reached the FA Cup quarter-finals twice, in 2017 and 2019.
He stepped down as boss at the Den in October 2019 after a seven-match winless streak left Millwall five points above the relegation zone.
Harris – who briefly played alongside Kavanagh on loan at Cardiff in December 2004 – remains Millwall’s record goalscorer, despite being diagnosed with cancer when he was just 23.
“He’s a great lad, he works very, very hard, he’s very diligent and honest in his work and he does like to play,” Kavanagh, 45, said.
“He’s never had too much money to spend, but what he has spent at Millwall he’s done a remarkable job.”
Kavanagh says that Warnock will be a hard act to follow.
“He’s [Warnock] done a phenomenal job at the club, getting it promoted. I know obviously he then got relegated but it’s very, very tough to stay in the Premier League,” Kavanagh said.
“He spent quite a bit of money but it looked like he was buying Championship players with the thought that if they went back down, then they’d be able to jump back up.
“Obviously that hasn’t been how they’ve started the season, so he’s paid the price of that.
“A man of his experience and his wealth of knowledge… he’s going to be a massive loss to the club.”