A pioneering cafe in Bridlington run by a charity trust to help the town’s homeless people could face closure.
Time, and money, is running out for the Kingfisher Cafe, which opened two years ago in West Street to provide a place for the town’s homeless population to be able to get a free meal.
According to one of its longest longest serving and most active trustees the cafe “might just make it to Christmas, with a bit of a push”.
Jean Dowdney said the charity was blessed with donations of food and other materials but the crucial need was funding. It needs at least £700 a month including energy bills, water rates and rent, but excluding food, to stay afloat.
A spate of burglaries, the most recent being the theft of £145 from a small safe, have not helped.
“We have even been holding table-top sales outside the cafe on Sundays, run by the homeless lads themselves, but that only brings in around £35, what we really need is some kind of funding,” said Jean, 64, has been at the cafe and a member of the trust since it was opened.
She is heavily involved in the day to day running of the cafe which when it is not serving up free meals at set times of the week, is open for use by the paying public with the proceeds going to the trust. It received a lot of support from local people but that has tailed off.
“It is not just us, it is the same all over Bridlington,” said Jean who together with around 10 other volunteers is managing to provide the homeless with a free breakfast four mornings a week and a full three course meal on three days a week including Sunday.
“Last Sunday there were 16 to feed, but my main concern is if we have to close where will they go. These people who are hungry are going to be wandering the streets and crime is going to increase,” said Jean
She believes the homeless problem is steadily getting worse, and is likely to get worse still when winter comes.
“We know there are at least 16 homeless in the town, and that there are five living in tents and three sleeping on the beach but there are sure to be more we don’t know about. The new hostel which opened in Marshall Avenue which has eight beds and two emergency beds is already full.” she said.
If anyone can help either by holding a fund-raising event or by way of a donation or funding they should contact Jean on 07563 588865 of the Kingfisher Cafe at 22 West Street.