A HOMELESS charity said it is seeing changes to the kind of people who attend its soup kitchen in Glasgow city centre as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.

The Glasgow Times visited the Emmaus Glasgow soup kitchen on Sunday, which is set up every week at the corner of Blythswood Street and Cadogan Street.

Richard Allwood, the charity director, said it is no longer just rough sleepers and homeless people who use the service, but also renters in long-term accommodation.

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He said: “It has been busy but what we’re noticing, post-Covid and more recently, is we’re getting a lot of people who live locally in flats.

“Some households come out every single night and it’s because they can’t afford food.

“It’s not that they’re living on the streets, because the numbers who live on the streets are still pretty low as far as I’m aware.

“But we’re getting a mix of people who are just struggling financially and come down for some help.”

Glasgow Times: Volunteers at Emmaus handed out hot food at their new soup kitchen night in Glasgow on Sunday.Volunteers at Emmaus handed out hot food at their new soup kitchen night in Glasgow on Sunday.

It comes after the charity established an additional soup kitchen night, in an effort to curb the effects of the rising costs of living.

Every Wednesday volunteers hand out food, clothing and advice from their two gazebos, between 8pm and 9.30pm, with some help from partners Help The Homeless, The Invisibles and the University of Glasgow.

Now, the team will also be out on the second and fourth Sunday of every month, from 7pm to 9pm.

Alongside hot meals, the charity has also seen an increase in users taking cupboard essentials that they can prepare at home.

According to Mr Allwood, the changes are down to the rising costs of essentials, which people can no longer afford.

Glasgow Times: Some of the volunteers at Emmaus Glasgow.Some of the volunteers at Emmaus Glasgow.

“We give out a lot of pastas, tuna tins and stuff like that that people take and cook for themselves.

“We’re still getting a regular 30 or 40 people every night but it’s the mix that’s slightly different.

“We get a lot of people who are at risk of being homeless, living in hostels or supported accommodation.

“But the new thing is people who are in tenancies that are struggling because of the rising costs of living.”

The charity, which houses 27 people on a completely self-funded basis through its two charity shops in the city, relies on volunteers to keep the soup kitchen running.

Glasgow Times: Jean Denton, 77, is one of the longest serving volunteers, with 19 years of experience.Jean Denton, 77, is one of the longest serving volunteers, with 19 years of experience.

They collect and hand out unsold food from fast food and sandwich shops, as well as from regular people who offer to prepare curries, soups, and cakes.

The charity’s ethos is also funded on the idea of its users giving back by helping run its services.

“Some of the guys here are homeless and they’re helping us today,” added Mr Allwood.

“We’ve got a guy who sleeps rough and most weeks he comes and gives us a hand.

“He says ‘I’ll give you a hand for now and then I’ll take some stuff with me’ so that’s his way of earning.

“Another big thing is the social aspect. A lot of people come down for a cup of tea and a chat, it’s not always just about the food.”

Glasgow Times: Emmaus Glasgow also gives out canned food that people can prepare at home.Emmaus Glasgow also gives out canned food that people can prepare at home.

However, the organisation has also been affected by the surge in prices.

“Like everybody else we are struggling at the moment,” said Mr Allwood.

“For instance, the price of diesel is almost doubling, the bill for our residential unit is projected to be £50,000 next year just to heat the building.

“We have a big office space and 27 flats with massive costs and we’ve not had any increases anywhere else so it’s a challenge for everybody.

“We’re feeling similar things to the people that we’re trying to support.”

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Rooms are available for people at risk of or with experience of homelessness at Emmaus Glasgow.

People interested can get in touch at info@emmausglasgow.org.uk or call 0141 3533903.

If you would like to support Emmaus Glasgow as a volunteer, please visit www.emmaus.org.uk/glasgow/ or get in touch at volunteer@emmausglasgow.org.uk or 07915 879701.