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'Force for good': Premier League club to shelter homeless at stadium in freezing temperatures

'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.

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.

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.

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