Today the Capital's streets are in crisis - the number of under-25s sleeping rough in one of the richest cities in the world has more than doubled since the last mayoral election. Whoever succeeds Boris Johnson in May won't just have the platform to express concern and talk about change, they'll have the power, the public support, and a multi-million pound budget to work with London's boroughs to make homelessness and rough sleeping a thing of the past. But how should they do it and where should they start?
As a filmmaker, I've always been curious to hear people's stories. Everybody has a story to tell and the first thing I often wonder when I meet someone is what theirs is. This was the case with Naomi, the young woman whose experience sleeping rough on the streets of London inspired the story for my latest film, A Horse Called Oz.
Introducing spikes to move rough sleepers along is a selfish response to an issue we should all have a stake in tackling, be it social or economic... Anger has been understandably focussed on 118 Southwark Bridge Road, but that anger now needs to be focussed on finding a cure for what is just one symptom of a broader problem.
For the past three years there has been talk about crossing over the pond to help our rough sleeping friends have a voice, but because of lack of funds it just never happen. Now, thanks to British Airways donating airfare, and my mother and step-sister making a large donation, and several donations from many wonderful people, I have spent an amazing week learning about UK homelessness spending most of my time out meeting rough sleepers.