Manchester charity braced for homeless surge

Homeless people generic
Image caption Many will never get a taste of Christmas without the charity's benevolence

More homeless people are expected to flood through the doors of a Manchester charity on Christmas Day.

Lifeshare, based in the city centre, said there will be dozens more needing hot meals, presents and comfort as the economic turmoil continues to bite.

The charity is gearing up for at least 180 people to attend the centre, where they will be met by volunteers, GPs, dentists and solicitors.

"People are really beginning to suffer," the charity said.

Based on Houldsworth Street, the charity aims to meet the needs of the disadvantaged and desperate people across Manchester and Salford.

Volunteers work on the streets, offering help to rough sleepers. They give support, practical assistance and help them to secure accommodation.

'Many more could die'

Tez Clegg, a street outreach worker with the charity, said: "We see many more at Christmas time, and we have already helped many more in recent months.

"More families are needing our help to even feed their loved ones. For example, we are making a hamper for a mother-of-six who has fallen on hard times.

"It puts our everyday strife into perspective. These people are seeing their welfare cut which means they cannot eat."

The charity opens for 12 hours a day from 23 to 29 of December.

It costs about £10,000 to run the Christmas programme.

Image caption Peter Green wants people to donate any spare clothes for the homeless

Earlier this month, Peter Green from Barnabus, another homeless charity warned many more would die on the street this year because of the sustained freezing temperatures.

"People are freezing, the cold snap is extreme and we need extra beds. Many of them simply say to us: 'Please find us somewhere to live, please find us somewhere warm'," he said.

The charity in Bloom Street has recently been given storage space. Mr Green made a plea to anyone with spare clothes to donate them.

"We are desperately in need of more secondhand and spare warm clothing. In the past people have donated soiled items of clothing, please give us things that people can actually wear."

Manchester City Council offers homeless people a bed after several nights of sub-zero temperatures.

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