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Tiverton homeless charity stretched by increased need
7:00am Friday 22nd June 2012 in News
A TIVERTON homeless charity’s resources are being stretched as the number of people unable to feed or support themselves in the area reaches “worrying” levels.
The Churches Housing Action Team, founded by Christians who were concerned about the number of people with housing problems in Mid Devon, says the number of people coming to them for support has more than doubled since October, 2011.
Also, the number of people coming to the charity for food has increased dramatically.
On Monday, June 11, eight food packages were handed out to members of the public, while on Tuesday, June 20, ten packages were handed out – the amount normally given out in a week.
Jo Turner, one of the charity’s housing advisers, said: “We’re seeing a worrying number of people who haven’t eaten for several days and are in an appalling state.
“These aren’t people who’ve spent their money on a flatscreen TV and not left themselves enough to eat.
“These are people who’ve been assessed as being unable to buy food for legitimate reasons.
“A lot of it’s being driven by changes to benefits and the human cost of the economic crisis.
“We have a huge variety of people coming in looking for help, teenagers unable to find work being chucked out because the family can’t afford to sustain them, and older people finding everything’s gone wrong and they can’t get a job or a pension.
“Levels of depression are going up, too, because things just aren’t getting better.
“Over the years there has always been a steady trickle of clients, but the number of people needing housing advice has shot up since October.
“During that month we saw 55% more people than in the previous October, and we’re now seeing 30 to 40 new clients every month who are in quite serious predicaments.
“We’re stretched and the population’s in quite serious strife.”