In 1970 Jim Horne, a man who had personal experience of homelessness, started a soup run to help people living rough around the old Covent Garden Market.

Later that year he founded the St Mungo Community Trust, and obtained the use of run-down houses at token rents, from the Greater London Council and local authorities, to provide shelter for men and women living on the streets. For nearly a decade the Trust pioneered work in this area, running the old Marmite factory in Vauxhall, the old Charing Cross hospital and other properties to provide as many as 800 people a night with accommodation.