Whitechapel Mission gets cash for the homeless from London Overground passengers' loose change
PUBLISHED: 14:00 18 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:52 18 June 2019
Rail commuters on the East London Line have handed in their loose change to donate more than £6,000 to the Whitechapel Mission so far this year to help tackle the homeless crisis.
The coins were collected by volunteers from Arriva, which operates the London Overground for TfL, who have also been helping out at the charity in Whitechapel Road.
"We have a duty to tackle the homeless crisis on our doorstep," Arriva London's managing director Will Rogers said.
"Passengers are concerned about people begging on trains, so we're funding the Whitechapel Mission which gets genuine rough sleepers off the streets and trains, into services to transform their lives."
Overground rail staff have also volunteered their time at the mission serving breakfast and have donated clothes and food in winter, as well as holding bucket collections on trains, platforms and stations on the East London Line down to New Cross and at Liverpool Street.
The mission's director Tony Miller said: "We are concerned with the rise in sleeping rough and the amount of begging. Our partnership with Arriva is to make a difference to genuine rough sleepers.
"We are encouraging beggars to visit us to make a difference to those genuinely in need."
The rail company is paying for a computer centre for the 5,500 people using the mission every year to look for jobs and accommodation.
The East End has 7,600 people thought to be homeless, or one in every 41 out of Tower Hamlets' population of around 308,000, according to the Shelter homeless charity.
The Whitechapel Mission relies on donations and volunteers for the work it has been doing in the East End since 1876, providing food, shelter, clothing and medical, and running recovery programmes to get people off the streets permanently.