Whitechapel charity offers shelter from sub zero conditions

With temperatures continuing to plummet to sub zero temperatures overnight more rough sleepers are taking refuge at a hostel in Whitechapel.

It’s the first year in the last 30 that the Whitechapel Mission has thrown its doors open to homeless people overnight.

The charity which was founded 134 years ago has a policy of providing overnight accommodation once the temperature plunges below zero.

It is normally open during the day only, offering hot breakfast, showers, clothes from its clothing store and a day centre.

Mission director Tony Miller said it’s the first time he can remember in 30 years that the Whitechapel Road building has had to open overnight so early in the winter.

The numbers of homeless people has gradually crept up since it threw open its doors on Saturday and offered a warm place to sleep to 15 people.

Last night 74 people snuggled up in the warm, when outside the wind chill factor plummeted to minus 2.5 degrees.

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Mr Miller expects more people to turn up as word gets around, if the temperature remains freezing.

The mission welcomes donations, the current wish list includes toilet rolls and soap.

Further details are available on 0207 247 8280.