Free Food Available to the Homeless

Here’s a list of where free food is available for the homeless and vulnerable within Cardiff

Here’s a list of where free food is available for the homeless and vulnerable within Cardiff. Please feel free to comment on any incorrect information, add details or point out any omissions. Thank you.


8.30 till 7.30pm – The Huggard Centre – Provides free soup (home-made) and bread to anyone who calls in 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. Huggard offers free meals on many days of the week (including weekends) which are cooked by volunteers and served late afternoon. Huggard also provides home cooked meals and hot/cold drinks at greatly subsidised (a typical meal is £1.50) prices and ‘give-aways’ on a (first come first served) regular basis through food stuffs nearing their sell-by-date. If a homeless person has no income we may be able to provide free food vouchers. A visit to our centre and a chat to our kitchen staff will keep you in touch with what’s on offer.

The Morning Breakfast Run – provided by The Wallich, 7.30am – Central Station, car park behind Burger King, 8am – Top (where it meets Queens Street) of St. Johns Street, the Hayes, 8.30am – Museum steps.

8pm till 9pm – Paradise Run behind M & S.


10am till 12noon – Conway Road Methodist Church in Canton.
6.30pm till 8pm – Salvation Army, Purple Bus opposite Museum.
5.30pm till 7.30 pm – The Tavs Centre, Tavistock Road, Roath.
11pm till 12 Midnight – Private run by Hamish, who drives around.

6.30pm till 8pm – Salvation Army, Purple Bus opposite Museum.
9pm till 10pm – Private run by Coffee4Craig, Museum steps.

6.30pm till 8pm – Salvation Army, Purple Bus opposite Museum.
11pm – Private run by Margaret Ashford, Cyncoed Methodist Church, who drives around.

11am – Calvary Baptist Church, Cowbridge Rd East.
6.30pm till 8.30pm – Salvation Army, Purple Bus opposite Museum.
12 Midnight – Private run by Andy Webb, who drives around.

11am – Brunch – The Tavs Centre, Tavistock Road, Roath.
12 Noon till 3.30pm – Food not Bombs, Vegan food outside Central Market.
6.30 till 8.30pm – Salvation Army, Purple Bus opposite Museum.

12 Noon – Rainbow of Hope, Broadway, off Newport Road.
12 Noon – St Peters Youth Hall, Bedford St, off City Road.
3pm – Amerpreet Singh Khalsa, Langer Seva society, the Queen Street end of Newport Road, outside Greggs and Coffee#1. Any leftovers are then taken around those who sleep rough on the streets, but are reluctant to give up their spots.
6.30pm – The City Temple, Cowbridge Rd East.

3pm till 4pm – The City Tabernacle on the Hayes.
5.30pm till 7pm – The Tavs Centre, Tavistock Road, Roath.
6.30pm till 8.30pm – Salvation Army, Purple Bus opposite Museum.


11am – 1st, 3rd and 4th Saturday of every month, The Saturday Service: ‘Christian worship with a hot meal’, Dewi Sant, St Andrews Crescent.
12 till 2.00pm (meal served at 12:30pm) – 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month, Quaker House, Charles Street.
10.00am till 3.00pm, Monday to Friday – The Real Junk Food Project, Embassy Cafe, Cathays Youth & Community Centre – Pay what you can afford.





Streetlink is Now Active In Wales!


Temperatures across the country are plummeting, with some areas getting as cold as -15C.

This may be a bit unpleasant for most of us, but it’s a particularly terrible time of year for the 3,000 or so homeless people sleeping rough across the country.

With temperatures this low, some of them will likely freeze to death in the streets.

You might have seen a post being circulated on social media with the email address of Mungo’s to allow people to report the location of people sleeping rough this winter.

While it’s well-meaning, the details are out of date.

Here’s what you can actually do to help.

A St Mungos employee has circulated the following information for anyone concerned about someone sleeping rough.

First step, contact StreetLink

StreetLink is a national organisation, so you can contact them about homeless people anywhere in the UK.

You can find them at, call the 24 hour hotline on 0300 5000914, or even download the StreetLink app on smart phones.

Make a referral using the online form

If you’re using the website or the app, there is an online form you can fill in to let StreetLink know where someone is sleeping rough

Give them as much information as possible

In order to make a referral, they need a rough sleeping site and, if possible, a time.

In his email, St Mungos employee Jon explains: ‘For example “I have seen them sleeping at… at this time…”‘

‘Our outreach teams go out all year round from around 10pm to 7am,’ he adds. ‘They are few and so an accurate sleeping site is imperative.

‘Also, services are dependant on the person being a genuine rough sleeper, so they need to be found sleeping on the street.’





As Cardboard Cities Return, Councils Criminalise the Homeless

The Ark - Manchester


It’s never been unusual to see the odd rough sleeper on a park bench or a person begging outside a train station. But as homelessness increases it’s becoming just as common to see whole camps of people bedding down together in city centres or pitching up tents on green space.

Barely a month passes without a report of another camp springing up somewhere. One of the most well-known is The Ark in Manchester, a self-built shelter which, before it was removed, had sofas, a kitchen area and a generator to provide power. But there are many others.

But there’s also the tent city alongside a river in Bedford which became home to around 40 people. In Southampton, there’s a group of rough-sleepers who used cardboard boxes and tarpaulin to turn part of a historic monument into a camp. And there’s a group in Milton Keynes who set up a site behind a 99p shop. There are other examples in Bristol, Southend and Devon, to name just a few.

Earlier this year, reported on the camp in Manchester. The people staying there told us they felt more protected in a group than they did staying alone. “We feel safer sleeping in tents and sticking together. We know people who have been attacked, spat on and even set on fire while they were sleeping alone in shop doorways. We are safer this way,” said Ryan McPhee.

Government statistics show that rough sleeping in England has increased by 55% since 2010. The charities Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation are conducting a five-year study into homelessness which draws on a survey of councils, statistical analysis and in-depth interviews. Their annual report, which was published earlier this year, warned that a chronic shortage of affordable housing combined with cuts to benefits and homeless services would see rough sleeping continue to rise across England.

As the problem becomes more visible, some local authorities are coming up with controversial ways to keep it out of sight. Last week, Bournemouth council came under fire for playing the sound of bagpipes and Alvin and the Chipmunks through speakers during the night to prevent homeless people from sleeping around the town’s Travel Interchange.

Earlier this year, Manchester council banned people from sleeping in tents in the city centre in protest against its homeless policies. And in recent months there has been widespread concern over the number of councils considering the use of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) to ban homeless people from prominent areas.


In October, Oxford council voted for the introduction of a PSPO which will give it the power to fine beggars and buskers. Newport council recently set out plans to use a PSPO to ban rough-sleepers from the city centre, ahead of the opening of a new shopping centre. It was later forced to back down after the proposals were slammed by charities. Councils in Liverpool and London have also considered similar plans.

The civil liberty organisation, Liberty has raised serious concerns with many of these councils about their plans, warning that some might be in breach of the human rights act. “We’ve seen a rash of proposed PSPOs nationwide which risk criminalising the most vulnerable in society,” says Rosie Brighouse, the legal officer for Liberty.

“Sleeping rough isn’t anti-social behaviour – it’s poverty. Yet rather than alleviate such hardship these Orders simply fast-track so-called ‘offenders’ into the criminal justice system.”

With many homeless services facing budget cuts, it’s hard to see the situation improving any time soon. And this type of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ thinking from councils is doing nothing to tackle the problem. All it does is move it somewhere else and in some cases exacerbate it – how is fining a homeless person going to help anybody? Rather than trying to hide the issue away, councils have a duty to protect their most vulnerable people and at the very least to ensure everybody has a roof over their heads.





From star student to homeless drug addict

Luke in the Huggard Day Centre Kitchen


A student who became a homeless drug addict at 19 years old after his parents and grandparents died within months of each other has spoken about his battle to turn his life around.

Luke Saunders, now 22, nearly died twice from overdoses.

Now he is studying to be a nurse and has a part-time job at Cardiff’s Huggard Centre which he says “saved my life”.

The former Lewis School Pengam pupil, who has 13 GCSEs, said he wanted to share his story to show how easy it is for lives to shatter.

Luke, originally from Hengoed, was studying child development and Ystrad Mynach College hoping to be a teacher when his parents and grandparents died within four months of each other in early 2012.

Living alone in a council house, grieving with no support he dropped out of college, self-medicated with drugs including cocaine and dropped from 11st to 6st in weight.

Within months of his relatives dying he was evicted from his council home because of anti-social behaviour and took an overdose “as a cry for help”.

‘Drug overdoses nearly killed me’

Admitted to hospital and then a psychiatric unit he was discharged within three weeks and became homeless.

“I slept under the playground in Ystrad Mynach park where I’d played as a kid. I was really scared. “I had no sleeping bag and thought I’d be beaten up or murdered.

“I grew up just a regular kid. I liked drama and reading. I was a bit of a nerd and got 13 GCSEs.”

High on cocaine one day Luke walked from Hengoed to Merthyr where he collapsed and soon afterwards took a second overdose.

“I was desperate. I bottled everything up and thought everything was my fault.

“Being homeless is scary. I thought I would die.”

Luke Saunders with Huggard Centre chief executive Richard Edwards

Treated at the poisons unit at University Hospital Llandough he then became homeless again and staff suggested he went to the Huggard.

“I came in in October 2012 a quivering mess with cuts on my arms from self-harming.”

Given a place in the 20-bed hostel he worked with staff over 18-months to get his life back on track. Now living in a council flat in Rhymney Luke is studying a nursing foundation course at Cardiff and Vale College, has applied to do a mental health nursing degree and is working three nights a week at the Huggard as a night worker.

“Things can happen very fast depending on your circumstances,” he said.

“I became homeless very fast. I was young and had no help. If it had not been for the Huggard I think I would be dead. They gave me support and confidence in myself.”

Huggard chief executive Richard Edwards said Luke was told to live away from the centre for several months to prove he had got back on track before being allowed to apply for a job as a night worker.

‘I hope I am a role model’

Luke now works at the homeless shelter for 12 hours three nights a week as well as studying a nursing foundation course at Cardiff and Vale College.

He has applied to university to start a nursing degree next year and wants to become a psychiatric nurse.

“I hope I am a role model to some of the people I help here now,” he said.

“I think it helps that I have been there myself.”

Richard said: “He has had nothing but praise from staff since starting his job here earlier this month.”

Ex-homeless Luke helps charity take in twice as many over winter

Luke in Huggard Day Centre Kitchen

In 2012, Luke became homeless at the age of 18 after experiencing a tragic bereavement. Now he is back on his feet and helping others to rebuild their lives at the Huggard Centre, which is now doubling its intake by taking in over 40 rough sleepers each night over the winter period thanks to extra winter funding from Cardiff Council.

“I came to the Huggard Centre, in Cardiff, at the lowest point in my life. My mental health was suffering terribly and I had turned to alcohol and drugs to escape the trauma I had experienced”.

My keyworker at Huggard was fantastic. She not only put up with all of the emotional baggage I brought with me, she really believed in me. I felt empowered to address my problems, rather than bottle them up.

Huggard took me in and arranged counselling and substance misuse support and this helped me turn a corner. I started further education and am studying nursing at Cardiff and the Vale College.

Now, I also have a job with Huggard as a Night Worker over the winter months, where we take in extra rough sleepers every night to stop them sleeping on the streets and provide them with the help and support they need. Three years ago that was me.

Without the support that Huggard gave me, my life would still be in tatters. I would still be on the streets. I would still be on drugs and self-harming. Huggard believed I could come through this and I did. This has made me more determined to help others and to be a living example that things can get better even when it seems impossible to even imagine a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Huggard’s Chief Executive, Richard Edwards said “We have a fantastic staff team and Luke is a beacon of hope to everyone we work with and is a constant reminder to all of us of the difference we make every day to people’s lives.”

Huggard’s emergency overnight accommodation shelters over 40 people – approximately double the number (from 1st November 2015 until the end of February 2016) of places we can normally offer to the homeless and vulnerable; these clients would otherwise be sleeping rough on the streets of Cardiff, throughout the winter.

This is in addition to a 20 bed hostel and 53 tenancies in shared houses across the city, together with extra tenant support and help with bonds for private rented housing.

The flag ship of Huggard’s services is its unparalleled Day Centre for homeless people that is open every day of the year, providing food, washing and laundry facilities as well as support, advice, training and many other opportunities. Last year Huggard saw 32,000 visits from just over 1,700 different homeless and vulnerable people.

Richard Edwards added “With the winter upon us, our services are a vital life line to many. Without the continued support of the community of Cardiff, we are unable to do everything that we do for the people who genuinely need our help the most. The extra funding from the Council to accommodate rough sleepers at night makes a real difference, but we are still struggling to fund the day time support to homeless people that can really help to turn lives around.”





Should I ‘Spare Some Change?’

Should I 'Spare Some Change?'

Q. I’d like a bit of advice on what’s the best way to help people who are homeless on the streets of Cardiff. I sometimes give people money but my partner feels this is not the best way to help as it does not resolve the issue. What do you advise members of the public to do when they come across someone who appears to be in need?

A. This is perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions but unfortunately it doesn’t have a clear cut answer. It depends on each individual and includes many factors that it would be both impossible and wrong for anyone to instantly assess or judge.

There is one important statistic – the average life expectancy of a man living on the streets in the UK is 47. So perhaps the question is ‘How can you help preserve life and help someone off the streets?’

One thing is clear. Just because someone is resigned to their situation and feels unable and unwilling to change it doesn’t make it a lifestyle choice. Our society is complicated and bureaucratic. Ducking below the radar and engaging in begging and other street culture activities can provide an escape from this, just not a sustainable one.

A good homelessness organisation, in my view, will meet an individual’s immediate needs and look then to helping the person overcome the barriers that prevent them escaping the cycle of homelessness. The danger is that giving money to homeless people and even providing ‘soup kitchens’ will only meet an immediate need. It won’t overcome any barriers, it won’t change things for the person it ‘helps’. It may even distract from the need to find a way to move forward and so thwart it.

Cardiff is fortunate to have unparalleled facilities and help for street homeless people aimed at getting people off the streets for good. The Huggard Centre sees 32,000 visits a year from 1,700 homeless and vulnerable people. We provide free and low cost meals, washing facilities, laundry service, clothes store, help, advice, training, activities, accommodation and support to identify and overcome the issues that homeless people face.

We work closely with the Gateway service based in the Council’s Housing Options Centre adjacent to Huggard. Gateway will allocate emergency accommodation on a daily basis, so it is really important that all street homeless people who want accommodation engage with the gateway service. To help with this the Council employ an Outreach Team to make contact with rough sleepers to provide support and direct them towards services.

In addition, the Wallich operates a free breakfast run every morning in the city centre, the Salvation Army’s Bus Project provides free food and advice Sunday to Thursday evenings at the museum steps and the Paradise Run hand out free food every evening behind Marks & Spencer.

It would therefore be tempting to say not to give money to homeless people but to support the services that are there to assist them in a structured way. That’s the easy and sensible answer. However, many people, not just homeless people, have issues and addictions and they are not always ready to make the choices that will benefit them the most. If someone needs money to meet their needs, whatever they may be, perhaps it is better that they are given that money freely and with a good heart. It may not move them forward but it might just stop them becoming even more excluded and desperate.

The bottom line is that you need to follow your conscience.

Richard Edwards' Signature

Richard Edwards, Chief Executive, Huggard





Zooming in on Huggard

The Huggard Centre: Helping the Homeless imageService users have been working with Zoom Cymru to create a film resource that helps explain the experience of being at Huggard.

Life in Huggard is a film made by some of our service users about what it’s like to be homeless. They even produced the backing track! See what you think. We would like to thank everyone involved in its production especially Zoom Cymru for their expertise and professionalism.





You asked about our Pods


Many people through our EOS updates have asked us what the ‘Pods’ are like – so here’s some info:


  • There are 8 in total, they are lockable cubicles with a bed and some storage.
  • They are an interim step from floorspace to being placed in our Hostel.
  • There are (to the right of the picture) toilet facilities and the open door area is not the normal access point, but leads to a small garden area.

At the moment the floorspace is being used for overflow from our Day Centre EOS.

Sorry about the picture quality, but it’s good enough to give you an idea of the space.





Cafe ‘H’ Near Completion

Cafe 'H' Near Completion

Café ‘H’ nearing completion. Never has there been a more important time for Huggard to generate income to support services for homeless people.

With further cuts to funding in the forthcoming year, it is hoped that Café ‘H’ will help to pay for… vital services for homeless people in Cardiff.  Between November and the end of March, Huggard sheltered 370 street homeless people in its emergency overnight shelter. Despite a significant proportion of these (56%) moving on from services to travel away.

Huggard, working in partnership with the Gateway Project, helped to find accommodation for 136 individuals who have now left the street behind and are rebuilding their lives. The contribution that Café H will make will not only help to fund vital services but will also help people who have experienced homelessness rebuild their lives by providing high quality training and work experience. Opening date coming soon!