With the cold weather and huge increase in homelessness, what will local charity do something very different to accommodate rough sleepers?
Rough sleepers in Cardiff will get access to emergency accommodation this winter as one local charity takes exceptional measures.
The Butetown based charity, Huggard will be turning its day centre into an emergency shelter to accommodate 45 additional rough sleepers each night.
At least 4547 people experienced homelessness last year, an increase of three per cent, and meteorologists predict the coldest winter for a decade.
“This is a horrendous time of the year to be out on the streets and we have to do everything we can to provide a safe and welcoming environment to people accessing our service,” said Richard Edwards, Chief Executive of Huggard.
The Day Centre will remain open at night until the end of March and the Huggard is being supported by the excellent services provided by Cardiff Council’s Outreach Team, the Wallich and Salvation Army.
“Cardiff is obviously very wet, when it rains in winter it can be difficult to get dry again. People spending all day in wet clothes and footwear, especially the homeless, can leave them with quite severe foot problems and skin infections,” said Simon Braybrook, a GP at Butetowm Medical Practice serving the homeless.
Although Huggard has made a great effort to support the homeless, there are still many of them on the streets, suffering the cold, wet and hungry.
“After I lost my mom, I was kicked out of my old house, which is owned by the government. But when I went to the local charity, they didn’t have additional space in this year, I have to be on their waiting list,” said Michael, the homeless who comes from Butetown but staying near the Cardiff Central Station.
There is an event held by Huggard to help homeless people in Cardiff by bringing along any of our recommended donations to Cardiff City FC and Cyncoed matches on Sunday, 9 December.
“We are very grateful to local people and businesses for their support. Their donations of money and gifts means we can do the job we do, however, we are going to need even more this winter if we are to support more homeless people,” Richard added.