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Page last updated at 07:31 GMT, Monday, 11 January 2010
Bristol's Wild Goose Cafe sees sharp rise in use
Homeless person in snow
The cafe says demand has risen in the bad weather

Demand for homeless services in Bristol has risen dramatically since the big freeze took hold.

The Wild Goose cafe in St Pauls, Bristol, says a third more people are taking advantage of their free meals while the weather has been cold.

Spokesman Alan Goddard said as well as serving meals, the centre helps provide the homeless with a place to stay.

"Most days we get people into accommodation so the day of the snow we took two people off the streets."

He added: "We get them into shared accommodation or shared houses, sometimes their own flat, sometimes into rehabilitation."

'Horrendous' weather

On Wednesday, the worst day of snowfall in the city, the centre served 220 meals during extended opening.

During a week the cafe serves some 1,800 meals which comes from donations.

"Fairshare is one of the biggest of our suppliers of food which is a fantastic organisation.

"They dispute food which is either surplus which is going out of the sell-by date."

One user of the centre said the weather during the past week had been "horrendous".

"I've spent my last week-and-a-half walking round - I know a couple of places that blow out hot air from the air conditioning.

"I just walk around all night."

He added that money has become tight for him: "I was provided with all my benefits before Christmas.

"I am now struggling to survive in any kind of way whatsoever and if it wasn't for this place I'd be literally staving."

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