London Overground Impact


Since February 2019, we have been supported by London Overground in the hope of making a difference for those individuals asking commuters for money on the trains and stations.

Some commuters have chosen to donate money to the charity, some chose to donate food, clothing, and their time. And a huge number of people chose to advise individuals asking for money to visit our centre just outside the Whitechapel Station.

If you see somebody who is homeless or asking for money, we ask that you send them to our centre in Whitechapel. Nobody should have to ask for money on the streets, but we cannot attempt to fix the problem if they do not visit the centre and engage with the advice workers. The free meals and free services are just a magnet to get people through the door. We are here to fix problems, not perpetuate them.

If you are too far away from London or Whitechapel, please web search your local services for people expereiencing homelessness. We would always recommend refering people to services that can make a long term difference.

We wish to offer our sincere thanks to London Overground and their passengers for a very generous response. We also wish to thank London Overground staff for the multiple volunteering days donated, serving meals and sorting clothing and supporting those asking for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

A free breakfast served daily from 8am until 10am

Free showers available weekdays from 8am

Free clothing available weekdays via showers

Free Advice and Support team available weekdays from 8am until 3pm

Free access to Computer Suite available weekdays from 8am until 3pm

Most night shelters are free. Many have an evening meal or breakfast at no cost or for a small charge. One is required to arrive by a set time in the evening and leave in the morning. Night shelter staff or volunteers can sometimes help with advice on finding somewhere to live and other practical support.

Winter Night Shelters can be temporary and only to keep people off the streets during the worst weather. We encourage people to keep working with our team, to ensure a longer term solution to homelessness.

Hostels are paid for through the right to housing benefits or directly through employment.

Usually, many may, depending on their circumstances, be able to claim mainstream social security benefits such as Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). More people who are rough sleeping will come under the Universal Credit (UC) system as roll-out continues.

The difference between rough sleeping and homelessness is that it is possible to be homeless, but not be rough sleeping. For example, someone can be homeless if they are staying in temporary accommodation, but they are not rough sleeping as they do have a proper roof over their head at night.

Begging has been illegal in the UK for almost two centuries under the 1824 Vagrancy Act. It does not carry a jail sentence under the Act. The maximum sentence is a fine at level 3 on the standard scale (currently £1,000). It is not usually enforced.

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