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Hostel converted to protect homeless during Covid-19 pandemic

30 Apr 20201m read

A City centre youth hostel which was once a school for choirboys is being converted to provide a home for rough sleepers during the coronavirus crisis.

St Paul’s hostel is seconds away from the cathedral and was used for almost a century as a school for choirboys. It is normally used by tourists keen to see all the top sights in the capital.

Beds go from £13 a night, with rooms starting at £29.

There’s even graffiti carved by those angelic singers in their former wood panelled classroom.

And it has a striking mural on the outside.

The City of London Corporation has taken over the entire building until July to house rough sleepers.

The building normally has accommodation for 213 people, many sharing rooms and shower facilities. It also has a communal living room and dining room.

According to owners the YHA: “There’s nothing quite like waking up to those cathedral bells.”

But it is being turned into a space for 20 homeless people to ensure they are off the streets to protect them from coronavirus.

Preparation work includes giving people their own bathrooms.

James Blake, chief executive of YHA (England & Wales), said: “Like so many other organisations, the coronavirus pandemic has hit YHA hard. But 90 years of history has shown us that YHA will have a key role to play in the recovery of society.

“In the short term I am pleased that we have been able to re-purpose some hostels to support the national effort to fight the virus and protect the most vulnerable.”

Author: Julia Gregory
Source: City Matters

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