Truth of homelessness told at Wakefield Cathedral

Myths have been broken down and truths told about the extent of homelessness in Wakefield at the latest Eat Up Stand Up event at Wakefield Cathedral this week.
Wakefield’s Community Awareness Programme (CAP) leader Kevin Dobson, Project Manager of the programme which provides help and support for the homeless and those who can’t make ends meet, was the guest speaker at the event and told the 40-plus members of the audience some hard facts about the city’s homelessness problem, including the fact that 17 of their clients had died in the Wakefield area so far this year. 
He said in any one year the project saw 400 new people, cooked and served 21,000 hot meals, and gave out 3,500 items of clothing and 3,500 items of toiletries.
“I started this job six and a half years ago and a big part of our job at CAP Care is setting the record straight about homelessness. 
“There is gross under-reporting of homelessness in this country, and a gross underestimation of the pain those who find themselves homeless experience,” Kevin added.
He went on to unpick some popular myths about homelessness with a range of information and statistics. 
“When you meet them face to face you can see the despair, you can see the loneliness; being homeless hurts on a very basic level,” he said.
There is currently a record number of homeless people, including families with children, living in temporary accommodation in Wakefield. 
Kevin said: “Most of the people we see and help, you won’t see. 
They are hidden, because they look the same as we do, and they are NOT sleeping in doorways or begging on the street. 
These ‘visible’ people represent only around 5-10% of the whole problem.”
The Community Awareness Programme on Market Street is open every weekday between 10am and 3pm and offers practical support and help for those who have been referred to their services. 
They also serve hot food from 10-12.30pm.
They are always looking for donations and currently need warm clothes, toiletries, men’s shoes (sizes 9 and 10), bedding and furniture. 
You can help them in a number of ways including volunteering and financial donations. 
Visit the website to find out more.
Eat Up Stand Up is a social programme run by Wakefield Cathedral that offers a pay as you feel home cooked meal, children's activities and a speaker on a particular current issue.
The Next Eat Up Stand Up is on March 9 and will focus on equality in the workplace with a speaker from the Camphill Community Wakefield.

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