A charity which helps vulnerable people is expecting an increased workload this year amid fears more families are falling in to poverty.
Wakefield-based Community Awareness Programme (CAP) said the number of people using its services rose by 26 per cent in the last year.
The project provides food and clothing along with advice and other support for the homeless and other vulnerable people.
CAP said the rise in users was due to a squeeze on household incomes.
Project manager Ernest Hibbert said on average more than 50 people a day used the charity’s services.
At Christmas, the organisation provided 400 hampers of food an other essential goods to families living below the poverty line.
Mr Hibbert said: “If we are coming out of recession then we haven’t seen it. They lose their job, that brings stress on the family and before you know the family breaks, the houses go and they come to us.”
One person using the charity’s services is former steelworker Roy Bickerdyke, who lost his home after being made redundant.
He said: “It’s a good job there are places where you can go, get some food, get a bath and shower. There are clothing things available. Without this place it would be terrible.”
Mr Hibbert said rising unemployment and cuts to benefits were hitting people from all walks of life. He added: “The traditional perception of homeless is people addicted to drink and drugs. That has always been wrong. But now we are seeing people much further up the social pecking order who are finding themselves in crisis through no fault of their own.”