Kitty the Catering Van hailed a life-line by homeless

Published on by Crystalle Cox (writer), Lauren Kirkland (writer)

image courtesy of Crossover Brighton

A catering van service, called Kitty the Catering Van, is run by the charity Crossover Brighton and provides the homeless with hot meals in sub-zero temperatures.

The service has been running for 6 years, from the back of the van meals are made for the homeless consisting of a main course, dessert, hot drinks and soft drinks.

Government figures show that Brighton has the worst rate for homelessness outside London, with one in 69 people living on the streets. Statistics taken from Freedom of Information data show that there is 4,095 people sleeping rough or in emergency and temporary accommodation throughout Brighton and Hove.

Dean Wright, an ex-customer of the services, said, 'For the past two years I enjoyed the charity, the kindness and friendly smiles. When I was homeless it was a great comfort knowing I would get food, clothes, soap and so on.'

'I now have a job and a home and this is thanks in part to David and Linda [at Crossover] for their kindness that kept me sane and fed. They are all wonderful people and I can't thank them enough.'

Crossover Brighton started up in 1997 and works amongst the disadvantaged and homeless of Brighton and Hove, by providing meals and practical support.

Project co-ordinaters David Bolton and his wife Linda, who have been working with the homeless since 1980, run the service 52 weeks a year. They said, 'It's not just about food, it's about the consistency of getting down [to the locations], even in the cold weather, even in the rain.'

They said Kitty the Catering Van fills a gap in the services for homeless, by taking it to St. Peters Church every Saturday night when many won't have a hot meal. 'No-body else is doing it, that's why we do it.'

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