We have added fortnightly Sunday soup kitchen night to our outreach services to help tackle the cost of living crisis.
On the second and fourth Sunday of every month Emmaus Glasgow is offering food, clothing and advice on the corner of Cadogan Street and Blythswood Street in the city centre from 7pm to 9pm, alongside volunteers from partners Help The Homeless, The Invisibles and the University of Glasgow.
This is in addition to a weekly Wednesday soup kitchen in the same location from 8pm to 9:30pm.
Homelessness charity Emmaus Glasgow provides a home, meaningful work and support for up to 27 people who have experienced homelessness. Many of whom help others in need at the soup kitchens alongside partners and volunteers.
Jean Denton has been volunteering at the soup kitchen for the last 20 years.
She said: “I am born and raised in Glasgow and the changes I have seen in homelessness over the years have become worse, not better.
“It is a travesty that there are more people using our outreach programme than when we first started it all those years ago. For many people who visit us, it isn’t just about the food, we are probably the first person they have spoken to all day, and in some cases days.”
The Soup Kitchen was initially set up to help people who are street homeless, but Emmaus Glasgow and its partners are now seeing more and more people attending who are struggling to pay the bills and afford to eat.
A service user, who asked not to be named, told Emmaus Glasgow: “I can’t survive on a private pension. It affects the amount of benefits I get. I’ve got a roof over my head, but only £2 to last me in my electric meter from Sunday to Tuesday. This is good place to come to, just to talk about things.”
Another service user said: “I used to be a chef, but now I’m not working and on anti-depressants. I cycle for several miles before I get to this place. I’d love to be on the other side and volunteer when I’m feeling better. It’s very important to me to be able to come here.”
Emmaus Glasgow relies on a network of donors for food and ingredients to run the soup kitchen. Some of the meals are prepared by the beneficiaries of Emmaus Glasgow, who themselves have experienced homelessness.
Alongside other food donations collected by Emmaus Glasgow, these meals are then loaded into the van and transported from the charity’s community building to the soup kitchen.
Director of Emmaus Glasgow Richard Allwood said: “At Emmaus Glasgow we stand in solidarity with people in need. We aim to help people build back self-worth and self-esteem from experiences of homelessness. Part of what we do involves supporting people into work and training at our charity shops in Partick and Hamiltonhill and part of this is by offering people opportunities to support others within the wider community.
“It’s a sad to see more and more people in need of help, but by working together with our partners we can help stem the tide, and remind people Emmaus Glasgow is here to offer a safe place to live for people at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness.”