HUDDERSFIELD Methodist Mission has been “overwhelmed” by offers from people to help them provide a warm sanctuary in the evenings this winter.
Since the Mission Cafe decided to open its doors in the evenings from Monday to Friday, starting in January, organisers have been inundated with offers of help.
More than 70 volunteers have come forward, many of them from local churches, to help cook and serve food and drinks.
Members of the Sikh community have also stepped forward. They will be cooking a curry once a week for visitors to the cafe.
The decision to open the cafe in the evenings follows the disappointment of not being able to set up a winter shelter in Huddersfield for the homeless in time for this winter.
However, the group which is working on this project, comprised mainly of representatives from many churches, is hopeful that one will be in place for next winter.
Mission Cafe project manager Jacqui Goff said that she was “over the moon” at the response from the public. She stressed that the cafe, which will provide a warm place to enjoy food, drink, company and newspapers, is not just for the homeless.
She said: “The cafe will be open for anybody who wants a warm place and some company in the evenings.
“We have not been able to provide a winter shelter this year, but we are working with the churches to do just that.
“In the meantime, we will open the cafe in the evening and see how it goes. It is not just for people in crisis, the cafe will be open for absolutely anybody. It is simply a warm, accessible place for people to spend the evening. ”
Members of the Springwood Sikh temple will be providing the food once a week at the cafe. On the menu will be vegetable and lentil curries, rice pudding and yoghurt.
Kartar Singh Kathuria, president of the temple, said: “We wanted to help with this project. Helping the needy and the homeless is a part of our belief.”
Inderpal Singh Randhawa, leader of the Sikh community, added: “We are prepared to support anybody who is in need, regardless of creed or colour. It is a difficult time of year for some people who have no homes or families to go to. Others may have no money to keep their home warm.
“The cafe will be a good place for people to come in the evenings.”
Starting on Monday, January 9, the Mission Cafe will be open from 6pm to 10pm every Monday to Friday until Friday, March 2.