Stoke-on-Trent homeless charity grows as people living rough increases

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A Stoke-on-Trent couple who set up a charity to help homeless people say volunteers are concerned about the increase in people living rough in the city.

Glyn Jackson, 55, and his wife Jeanette, 55, from Chell Heath,  set Help for the Homeless in October 2015 and say they have seen a worrying rise in the number of people needing their help.

After seeing a surge of people and a strain on the charity’s services, in 14 months, the charity has now gone from a just having Mr and Mrs Jackson helping out to a team of more 30 volunteers.

Help for the Homeless, based at the Sacred Heart, Hanley, now helps more than 20 people through their doors every night.

 

 

The couple spent their Christmas Day last year serving food to people living rough.

'Help for the Homeless' offers its services seven days a week.

‘Help for the Homeless’ offers its services seven days a week.

The rise in demand on their services has meant the couple now spend all their time dedicated to the charity and finance the charity themselves.

Mr Jackson said: “We are seeing more and more new people. Demand this year will be greater.

“Last night we had five new lads that have just become homeless.

“Over Christmas and New Year we are going to be manic.”

As temperatures dip below freezing, the charity has started providing  sleeping bags to people living on the streets.

Garry Barker, forced onto the streets for almost three years after family circumstances made him homeless, said he uses the charity’s services as his only source of food and said it offers him ‘a break from normality.’

The limited availability of services provided by the council is something that raises concerns for the charity.

 

The charity currently serves food all week and weekend at the Sacred Heart in Hanley from 7,45pm until 9pm.

Volunteers also run a community meal for free on Tuesdays at Chell Heath Church.

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