Prince William spent a night sleeping rough on the streets of London to experience being homeless for charity
He’s one of the most affluent young men in the country, but that didn’t stop Prince William spending a night sleeping rough on the streets of London in an event organised by a charity for the homeless last week.
As patron of the Centrepoint organisation, the prince, 27, felt the need to deepen his understanding of the homeless – and what better way than to become one.
After spending the night in a sleeping bag near Blackfriars Bridge in central London, William said: ‘I could not even begin to imagine what it must be like to sleep rough night after night.’
The idea arose following a speech William gave to mark Centrepoint’s 40th anniversary this year. Speaking of the charity, he said: ‘Poverty, mental illness, drug and alcohol dependency and family breakdown cause people to become and then stay homeless.
‘Centrepoint’s work – along with many other organizations – in tackling these fundamental causes is desperately important if we are ever to end homelessness it his country.’
Keeping the prince company was the charity’s chief executive Seyi Obakin, who admitted that they were almost run over by a road sweeper vehicle. He said: ‘For me, it was a scary experience. Out of my comfortable bed. Out there in the elements. Out there in an extremely cold night, with temperatures down to -4C’
Clarence House has confirmed that a ‘small element of security’ had remained with the prince during his night sleeping rough. But there was no shielding from the bitter cold, or the hard concrete floor, or the fear of being accosted by drug dealers.
Following his night’s sleep, William went to Centrepoint’s Greek Street centre where he cooked breakfast for a groups of young homeless people.