Homeless in London

The Great Wen

This is a rewritten version of a piece I wrote on London’s homeless tours in 2011. 

No amount of playful London nerdery can prepare you for the emotional thump that is an Unseen Tour. These walks are organised by Sock Mob, an informal group of volunteers who work with London’s homeless – and it’s the homeless, or former homeless, who take you on the tour. In their company, you’ll learn things about London you probably didn’t know, like where to find the Second World War shrapnel on the side of St Clement’s Dane church on the Strand, and you’ll learn things you definitely didn’t know, like which Covent Garden cafe gives food on credit to the homeless when they are short of cash.

We meet at Temple, that aged hive of streets dominated by the vast grey Victorian Gothic splendour of the Royal Courts of Justice. Mark and…

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