A CHARITY inundated with the homeless and needy since the recession began will now open five days a week to cope with the demand.
The Mission Cafe on Lord Street was given a funding boost of £14, 967 from The Community Foundation for Calderdale.
Charity project manager, Jacqui Goff, will use the money to open the cafe’s doors on Wednesdays following increasing demand from people in crisis seeking help.
The Methodist Mission can now offer people a cheap meal, advice on housing,benefits, and help with tackling addiction from 9am to 2pm Monday to Friday.
Jacqui said: “Some people who come in here are in real dire straights and come here because they don’t know what to do next.
“Since the recession there has been a massive increase in demand for our services.
“People are coming in here that have never previously been in crisis before.
“Many are suffering with the knock-on effects of having no job or losing their job
“There’s definitely an increase in more vulnerable people in crisis through drinking or drugs since the recession began.”
The cafe will use the money to train more staff and volunteers to help out on Wednesdays.
Jacqui, 45, said: “Volunteers range from people with learning difficulties, mental health problems, or people with some spare time on their hands who want to help out.
“Many of our volunteers used to be active during the day and are now out of work.
“We are getting them back into the work routine and helping them out with references and CVs to get them back into full-time work.”
Representatives from housing and support agencies visit the cafe to offer advice or a listening ear.
These include Horton Housing, Stomham Housing, drink and drugs charity Lifeline, Kirklees Housing Options, Foundation Housing and West Yorkshire Community Chaplaincy for rehabilitating ex prisoners.
The cafe is also closely connected to Methodist Mission’s Welcome Centre which offers emergency food packs and home-starter packs.
The Mission Cafe was among 15 Kirklees groups to benefit from a grant to help charities battling the recession.
The Community Foundation for Calderdale managed the project on behalf of Kirklees Council and Calderdale Council.
Councillor Mehboob Khan, leader of the Kirklees Council, said: “The non-profit sector has always done important work, but its role is even more vital in the current economic climate.
“The council has been working closely with the Community Foundation for Calderdale to develop our own community foundation for Kirklees.
“We are delighted that the partnership has produced such an excellent outcome.
“I would like to thank the Government for making this money available.
“We continue to work hard in supporting our communities in many ways because the recession does not just affect us economically, it also has a social impact.”