Charity launches free vending machines for the homeless

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NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND (CBS) Many people never see them but the streets of Nottingham, England, are filled with homeless people.

"The other night I was five, six hours without no water or drink. I was dehydrated. I didn't have nowhere to get anything, I didn't have no money," said Lee Crowden who is homeless.

The charity Action Hunger hoes to change things for people like Crowden, 43. The former drug addict is one of the first to use a machine for the homeless. It provides up to 100 people with chips and chocolate bars, as well as healthy food and warm clothing.

"Those products are all good products that anyone on the street could use," Crowden said.

The UK's first vending machine for the homeless will be open 24 hours a day. They will be able to access items with a special key card. It is proving to be popular so far.

The charity works with shelters to choose who gets a card. Each can be used three times and people can ask for another.

Activist John Doddy says it gives the homeless a chance to help themselves.

"If anybody holds out their hand, if anybody shows a sign of generosity, they generally are disbelieving and we've brought tears to people's eyes," Doddy said.

There are plans to roll out more vending machines in other cities in Great Britain next year.

Vending machines for the homeless are expected to be installed in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco early next year.