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At the southern end of Waterloo Bridge in London, by the banks of the River Thames, stand the Royal National Theatre, the National Film Theatre and the Royal Festival Hall. In stark contrast to this centre of London's cultural activity, are the subways close by - a warren of stark passages - which offer some relief from the cold at night.They have become a mecca for the homeless. The place is littered with the cardboard boxes and old mattresses that they use as beds. It became so popular there in the 1980s that each person had their own, much-prized space that they would guard carefully.It give them a sense of security and became so permanent that the local gave the area a nickname- Cardboard City.This was also the name of a theatre play directed by the now famous Oscar-winner (for American Beauty) Sam Mendes. The 1980s saw an enormous increase in people sleeping rough in Britain, as many unemployed came to cities in the south, especially London, where jobs were easier to find.But it's virtually impossible to get a job in Britain without a permanent address, and it's very difficult to get somewhere to live if you don't have a job, so most of those people got trapped. They ended up with no work and nowhere to live. Today the housing charity Shelter estimates there are around 100,000 homeless people in London alone, who are either in temporary accommodation or simply living on the streets. These people often hang around railway stations and other public places asking for money. The British public are asked by their government not to give money to street beggars.People sympathetic to the homeless are being told to donate money to charities who specialize in caring for the poor or to offer beggars gifts of food or clothes instead of money. Another way you can help is to buy a copy of The Big Issue weekly magazine. Run for the homeless, The Big Issue is a success on many levels. Its first issue was published in 1991, it won the Magazine of the Year award in 1993, and sells 270,000 copies weekly, which means a readership of over one miHion. All profits are reinvested into the magazine or diverted to The Big Issue Foundation, a charity that runs many social support programmes for the homeless. _The magazine is actually sold by the homeless themselves, which gives them a chance to earn money and retain a sense of dignity. Encouraged by its success in Britain, The Big Issue has become international, and now seventeen titles throughout Europe are being published


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1) What is situated on the banl of the River Thames?
2) How can you explain the nickname "Cardboard city"?
3) Why did people in Britain sleep on the streets?
4) What were the conditions for getting a job in Britain?
5) Where do homeless people often hang around?
6) How many homeless people does the housing charity Shelter have?
7) What is "The Big Issue"?
8) What chance does "The Big Issue" give to the homeless?
9) How many titles are being published now?
10) Is "The Big Issue" an international magazine or not?