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Southend homeless centre overwhelmed with hungry people
A HOMELESS centre says it is being overwhelmed with people needing food because their benefits have been temporarily stopped.
The Storehouse in Coleman Street is feeding more than 200 people a day and instead of just providing one or two bags to those in need it has become a sole source of food for many.
The increase is being blamed on Government benefit reforms which have seen people “sanctioned” for not trying hard enough to get a job. People are asked to fill in forms and provide evidence of job hunts and if they fall short of the criteria, benefits are stopped for several weeks.
John Williams who helps run the Storehouse said many who can’t cope with the forms are being left destitute.
He said: “We have become the main port of call for those in need and demand has grown like wildfire. Demand on our services is increasing beyond what we can supply.
“We are hoping more churches in the area will be able to help us. We are seeing in excess of 200 people each day. The queues are frightening.”