It is one of the initiatives to benefit from an extra £7m pledged today by Mayor Sadiq Khan in immediate and long-term support.

The number of rough sleepers in London increased 13 per cent year-on-year last year to 1,283, driven by an 87 per cent increase in rough sleepers from other European Union nations.

Concerns about the welfare of homeless people have grown since the Office for National Statistics revealed that more than 650 died in London in the last five years from a variety of causes. Two rough sleepers died last year in the underpass at Westminster Tube station.

Today’s announcement almost doubles the £8.5m already provided by City Hall for pan-London services.

Under the Mayor’s initiative, cold weather shelters open across the capital when temperatures are forecast to hit zero.

The new money will mean more severe weather shelters next winter. The shelters have opened 24 nights so far this winter. Previously temperatures had to be forecast to hit zero for three successive nights.

Mr Khan today visited a coffee kiosk near London Bridge station run by Change Please, a social enterprise that offers rough sleepers a way off into employment by working as baristas.

He said: “The increase in rough sleeping in recent years across the country is a national disgrace, and we are doing all we can to help people off the streets of London.

“This extra funding from City Hall means we can build on the new services we have introduced this winter to go even further – with new help for rough sleepers including an all-year-round rapid response team.”

He added: “Organisations like Change Please are doing a fantastic job helping homeless people to rebuild their lives. It was great to meet the baristas today and hear how far they’ve come since sleeping on the streets.”

Source: Evening Standard