A town centre cafe has been celebrating the success of a scheme to give homeless people a (coffee) break.
Customers of Cafe Society, Byram Street, have bought 500 ‘suspended coffees’ for the town’s rough sleepers.
The suspended coffee scheme, which began in Naples, Italy, allows customers to buy a hot drink in advance for someone who has hit hard times.
A homeless person can then enter the cafe and ask if there are any ‘suspended coffees’.
The scheme, which has been a success in Australia, New Zealand, the US and Canada, has also been popular in Huddersfield.
The ‘suspended coffees’ scheme was introduced to Huddersfield by Hanson’s cafe in Marsh.
Lindley’s Cafe, Lidget Street, Lindley, Queenie’s Coffee Shop, Queen Street and Time Circa 2010, Hammonds Yard, off King Street, also joined the scheme last year.
And since Cafe Society joined the scheme in April, there have been an average of 11 suspended coffees bought each week by regular and less frequent customers.
Around five homeless people regularly take advantage of the scheme, as well as less regular visitors who are struggling to make ends meet.
Cafe Society owner Alec Jackson said: “Forty or 50 people donate. Regulars and people we’ve never seen before do it.
“By and large we always have something – we’ve never had to turn anyone away.
“And it isn’t always about homeless people. It’s about people down on their luck or who have had a really bad day.
“We had one woman who was smartly dressed and I wasn’t sure whether she wanted to make a donation or was trying to claim one.”
Mr Jackson added: “We don’t mind the guys coming in and clientele don’t mind. In fact, they like it because it’s a way of giving someone money and knowing it’s not going to go on beer or something that will do them harm.
“As long as it’s not being abused we’ll continue.”
For more about Huddersfield’s Suspended Coffee scheme go to: www.facebook.com/SuspendedCoffeesHuddersfield.
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