CR Zero 2020

We believe that no one should be sleeping on the streets and it’s time to find new ways to help our rough sleepers, so we can end chronic street homelessness in Croydon for good.

Despite the availability of homelessness support services in Croydon, we have recognised that chronic rough sleeping is a growing issue. Croydon has one of the highest numbers of people sleeping rough in our country and we are determined to tackle this issue. We believe that no one should be sleeping on the streets and have launched an initiative called CR Zero 2020 to find new ways to help our rough sleepers. We are passionate about involving the local community so that together we can end chronic street homelessness in Croydon for good by 2020.

The European End Street Homelessness Campaign is being developed by the Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF) and FEANTSA – the European federation of national organisations working with homeless people. It is a pan European movement of cities, working together to permanently house Europe’s most vulnerable people and end chronic street homelessness by 2020. The campaign supports cities across Europe in a growing movement that aims to gain public support and mobilise action to end street homelessness. Croydon is one of the two Local Authority areas in London that are early adopters of the campaign in the UK.

There are several local organisations working in partnership on the CR Zero 2020 campaign including Crisis, Evolve Housing + Support, Expert Link, Homeless Link, Thames Reach and Croydon Council.

We will be delivering the campaign under the name of ‘CR Zero 2020’ to reflect our aim of ending chronic rough sleeping in Croydon by the year 2020.

Our principles

We believe the time has come for the whole community to work together and take action to end homelessness. Although there are unforeseen events in people’s lives which mean they sleep on the streets, no one should be trapped in an endless cycle of homelessness. Therefore the aim is to end long term, chronic street homelessness. Past and current campaigns in America and other initiatives in Europe, are proving that with concerted action this is possible.

We see chronic homelessness as an issue that affects entire communities, not just those sleeping rough. As such, the campaign is focused on involving as much of the wider community as possible in identifying the problem, and the solution. The campaign will be formed around a community coalition of the willing, working together to improve the community that we live and work in.

There are two parts to the campaign:

For the first part of the campaign we delivered a ‘Connections Week,’ where we engaged 100 local community volunteers to get to know every rough sleeper in Croydon by name, understand their needs and find out what they need for a sustainable route off the streets. During the week, we spoke to 64 people sleeping rough, 42 of whom completed the survey.

After the survey results from Connections Week, the data revealed that out of all the major European cities where this campaign has been piloted, Croydon has the highest percentage of people in the 8+ category. This included the presence of tri-morbidity; when a person has mental and physical health needs as well as substance misuse.

For the second part, we created a ‘Solutions Group’, which includes concerned citizens, who want to help rough sleepers, third-sector organisations, who work in Croydon, housing and health departments and local faith-based groups.

The solutions group is:

  1. Committed to identifying the barriers that prevent people from coming off the streets, and successfully staying off
  2. Committed to challenging ‘the system’ to make it work in ways that increase the chances of rough sleepers succeeding
  3. Committed to working with the individual components of the system to find alternatives ways of working
  4. Committed to finding permanent solutions
  5. Actively seeking to bring into the group’s membership any individual or organisation that can actively contribute to the campaign aims


Sign up for more information on the campaign here

An existing CR Zero 2020 volunteer? Join our forum to find out more information and updates about the campaign.