SHEFFIELD Cathedral’s Archer Project is reporting a steep rise in demand from homeless and vulnerable people as the economic crisis continues.
Managers at the centre have seen an increase of more than a quarter in the number of clients each day – and estimate that rough sleepers may have doubled.
Tim Renshaw, chief executive at The Archer Project, revealed the figures as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited to make a donation of winter clothes and food.
Mr Renshaw said: “It is recognised that there are more rough sleepers in Sheffield than five years ago. In 2007/8, it was estimated that there were nine in the city but the figure has now risen to 18 – although there has been a change in how they are counted.
“More people are also presenting themselves at the Archer Project for help with issues around housing and homelessness, from around 65 people a day to more than 80.
“We support them in terms of access to health services and finding housing.”
Mr Clegg handed over a donation of scarves, gloves and food, as well as meeting volunteers and clients of the centre – who also confronted him about the impact of benefit cuts.
Mr Clegg said: “As we get closer to Christmas and the nights get colder, you realise just how important centres such as the Cathedral Archer Project are. It was a privilege to be able to visit and make a donation.”
The project needs £405,000 a year to cover running costs. Send cheques to Cathedral Archer Project, C/O Sheffield Cathedral, S1 1HA, or visit Archer Project