A Leeds hostel for homeless people said today that it is facing "record levels" of demand not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
St George's Crypt organiser Martin Patterson said the organisation was "seeing numbers accessing our overall services at record levels not seen since the 1930s.
"The total numbers presenting in the crypt and the two hostels is approaching 170 on many days.
"Thirty-five of these are people who are accepted in the crypt to stay overnight.
This is in contrast to 15 people for which the 'new' crypt was designed only three years ago.
"We do believe there is real risk that the demand for our services will be expanding over the next few years as the full impact of the cuts in benefits and other public expenditure takes full effect."
The crypt is one of northern England's best-known charitable institutions.
It was founded by Reverend Don Robbins in 1930, when millions of people were thrown out of work and many lost their homes.
Volunteers at St George's church in the heart of Leeds removed bodies from the crypt beneath the church and opened the vaults as a shelter to provide food, warmth, beds and companionship for the growing numbers on the streets of the city.
The measure was meant to be temporary, but more than 80 years later demand for the crypt's services continues.
Today it is increasing drastically as a result of the government's cuts and austerity programme.
Rooms used for training purposes are having to be turned into dormitories to meet the increasing demand.
The crypt also runs two hostels for people with addiction problems.