Caritas Anchor House
Caritas Anchor House works at the heart of homelessness providing accommodation and life-skills support to up to 300 single homeless adults each year. They are based in Newham which has the highest level of homelessness in the country.
Often those who experience homelessness also face unemployment, mental health issues and domestic abuse among other problems. The charity offers a programme of activities and works with residents to address all aspects of their life, including health and wellbeing, recreational and therapeutic activities, maintaining relationships, financial management, education, volunteering, training, back-to-work preparation and support to achieve and sustain independent living.
One of the people that left homelessness behind last year thanks to their help was Lesley.
“I had to take sick leave because of a spinal condition which meant that I couldn’t do my role as a care worker. My sick pay was £14 a week too much for me to be eligible for benefits, so there was no safety net. Not long after, my employer ended my contract meaning that I couldn’t pay my rent. I was evicted and became homeless.
“My key worker at Caritas Anchor House is absolutely brilliant and supported me so much, and there is lots of activities you can get involved in. There’s always support if you need it, whether that’s because you’re struggling with your mental health or you just want to talk to someone.
“I moved into my own home a month ago, and I absolutely love it! I’m starting to make it look like my own, with all my personal touches. I can’t wait to show my son. Finally, I have something to be proud of. I turned 60 recently, and my new home is the best birthday present I could have wished for.”
The funds received from the NET Coronavirus Appeal, through East End Community Foundation, have helped the team at Caritas Anchor House to continue their vital work at a time of unprecedented need. This includes providing the resources to ensure that the buildings are regularly cleaned and that residents can be offered food and essentials.
Many of the 140 people staying at Caritas Anchor House have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, are struggling financially, have physical health conditions which put them at risk, or have experienced a deterioration in mental health due to the unprecedented circumstances, so the work of charity has been fundamental in keeping them healthy and safe. Through all of this change, the team has continued to provide a supportive home for residents that otherwise wouldn’t have one.