Fact File

32% of people supported by The Whitechapel Mission have been in care at some point

A simple fact. Too many of our children in care are unprepared for the adult world and struggle to fit in.

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18% of people supported by Whitechapel Mission are under 26

There were 762 people aged under 26 found sleeping on the streets between 2013/14, compared with 316 in 2010/11 - a 141% increase

Across all age brackets, 6,508 people were recorded as sleeping rough in the city during 2013/14, meaning just over 18% were aged under 26.

60% of people supported by the Whitechapel Mission come from dysfunctional families

In 2018, 2,917 people chose to use our advice and counselling services in the hope that we could resolve problems, reunite individuals with family members, or teach them the basic skill necessary to leave the streets at take up some form of accommodation, or even find employment.

A common factor being that they lacked the loving environment of childhood and many denied the life skills needed to grow from childhood into adulthood. Not able to control their aggression or anger. Not knowing how to communicate by telephone or in person. Not knowing how to resolve problems and difficulties.

15% of people supported by the Whitechapel Mission have been in the armed services

Numbers that are regularly questioned and even challenged. Our experience suggests that there are far more people on the streets with a history of military service than is immediately obvious. These young men, appear to fall into to two categories.

  1. Young men who didn't do as well at school as they had hoped and discovered many doors closed to them upon leaving school. One door that remains open and welcoming is that of the army and many sign up to serve this country, only to discover that upon their demob a few years later, the same doors as still closed.
  2. Young men who chose to join the army, as opposed to an alternative career, to be damaged by their experience within the armed forces. Their experiences in armed conflict causing deep rooted problems that can take years to rise to the surface.
  3. A high percentage were in the care system before joining the army.
  4. We are not suggesting that 15% of London's homeless are ex-servicemen, but rather 15% of users of the Whitechapel Mission are. This can be explained by the particular service provision of the Whitechapel Mission.
  5. We have witnessed a reduction in the numbers of ex-service men in recent years and can report numbers far lower than just 3 years ago.

49% of people supported by Whitechapel Mission are indigenous to the UK

The Whitechapel Mission is open 365 days a year are would expect to see between 250 and 300 people on a normal weekday. Of those, 49% are from the UK, but predominately from Scotland and Ireland. 19% are Eastern European. 20% are Afro/Caribbean, mainly from North African states. 5% British born Asians and the final 7% are a mixture from around the world.

Many of those from Scotland and Ireland cannot prove their identity, and before we can sort benefits or housing, we need to acquire a birth certificate and proof of identity. In 2018 we purchased 12 birth certificates to begin the process of turning those lives around.

87% of people supported by Whitechapel Mission are male

There are many theories as to why the majority of the homeless are men, but there are some contributing factors that may have some bearing.

  • Men are given lower priority when it comes to social housing. Of course couples with young children should be given higher priority, but single homeless men are definitely given the lowest priority.
  • Men are more likely to leave the family home when there is a break-up. Women staying in the family home with the children.
  • Within our society men are expected to be strong and be the protectors, causing them to bottle up and hide emotional distress. For it to appear years later in a damaging form.
  • There is a natural need for society to help or assist a woman in distress.

38% of people supported by Whitechapel Mission have been in prison

We live in a society of consequence. It we chose to break the law, there will be consequences. We are likely to be looking at a prison sentence, the loss of our job, the possible loss of our house and possible loss of our freedom. Consequences that most of us would rather avoid.

But if living on the streets these are not consequences at all, possibly even benefits. With no house to lose. No job to worry about and the prospect of three cooked meals a day, a warm bed to sleep in, there are some that will risk the consequences of stealing a "loaf of bread".

Over 4,615 volunteers, offering over 27,690 hours of their time.

  • 24% of rough sleepers have been on the streets for 2 years or more.
  • 101,835 breakfasts served during this year, an average of 279 a day.
  • 5,412 different people used our services during this year.
  • 2,917 people used our advice services during this year. 296 were women
  • 18% of people using our services are under 26 years of age.
  • 28 people use the Whitechapel Mission's address to receive their post.
  • 36 people were helped to find employment
  • 41 were referred to drug or alcohol programmes.
  • 198 people received help in claiming benefits.
  • 32% of people using our services have been in care at some point.
  • 15% of people supported by the Whitechapel Mission have been in the armed services.
  • 79 people found a flat, 258 people found a hostel during this year.
  • 12 birth certificates purchased during this year.
  • 27 people came to us without any form of ID at all.
  • 23,800 people used our showers during this year.
  • 38% of people using our services have been in prison.