'Force for good': Premier League club to shelter homeless at stadium in freezing temperatures
Fans have heaped praise on English Premier League club Crystal Palace, who have made the heartwarming gesture of offering beds, hot meals and and breakfast to rough sleepers in the club lounge at their home Selhurst Park stadium.
With temperatures forecast to plunge below freezing in the English capital in the coming week, Palace, who are based in South London, will accommodate up to 10 homeless people in the lounge with camp beds and providing free food and washing facilities.
The club is working on the initiative with the local Croydon Council and opened its doors on Thursday to bring eight people off the streets.
👏 Crystal Palace are set to shelter the homeless at Selhurst Park when temperatures drop below freezingA truly brilliant gesture from the club, let's hope more clubs get involved... pic.twitter.com/8lGP478GaO— The Sportsman (@TheSportsman) January 18, 2019
Homelessness in London has reached record levels, with over 3,000 people sleeping rough in the city at the end of last year, and Palace Chief Executive Phil Alexander said the move was a "force for the good in the community".
“We are delighted to be collaborating with Croydon Council and their partner agencies to ensure that rough sleepers can find an emergency shelter in the event of severe winter weather,” Alexander said, Sky Sports reported.
"The club wants to be a force for good in the community and we are happy to do our bit to help those most in need," he added.
Palace have been working closely with homeless charity Crisis with star players Christian Benteke and Mamadou Sakho visiting the organization’s base in December.
Football fans have praised Palace for their forward thinking and implored other clubs to follow the initiative. Some, however, couldn’t resist a bit of ribbing their rivals with light-hearted pops at their fanbase on the topic.
Morning. Before we get into another weekend of football, a word of praise for @CPFC. Turning Selhurst Park over to the homeless during freezing temperatures and providing basic necessities is a brilliant gesture. I'm sure other clubs will follow suit.— Michael Calvin (@CalvinBook) January 19, 2019
Well done Crystal Palace not just for the roof over the head but for the little things like hot food and washing facilities that we all take for granted 👏👏 Crystal Palace to shelter homeless at Selhurst Park stadium https://t.co/beWN1wnihT— Pringo (@pringo69) January 19, 2019
Crystal Palace are using part of Selhurst Park as a shelter for rough sleepers.The mags have been doing this for years. pic.twitter.com/C9h7xQkbcL— cheeses of nazereth (@cheesesofnaz) January 19, 2019
Well done Crystal Palace on opening up Selhurst Park to the homeless.I can see other clubs following suit now, especially Man City so they can finally fill the Emptyhad...— The Tears of a Clown (@Modmuffin) January 19, 2019
The Eagles take on league leaders Liverpool on Saturday at Anfield, and are even offering breakfast deals to the 600 supporters travelling north by coach.