“I have been at Caritas Anchor House for eight months and I have achieved more in that time than I have in the rest of my life.”
Lee came to Caritas Anchor House when her council owned flat was demolished for redevelopment. Lacking confidence, self-esteem and employment, Lee had reached a low point. However, with support from staff, Lee has since learnt to read and write – aged 49 – opening up a new opportunity for training and employment. She slowly regained her confidence, engaged with the volunteering programme and has since secured full time employment for the first time.
“I had never taken any exams or worked before I came to Caritas Anchor House, but this experience has given me so many more choices. I am more hopeful for the future than I have ever been.”
“When I arrived at Caritas Anchor House I was a shell of the person I am today – they have helped me find the real me.”
George had been doing contracting work, but when the contracts dried up he found himself unable to afford the rent and became homeless. When he moved in to Caritas Anchor House, George was very withdrawn and unsure of what he should do, but after attending our Abbotswick mindfulness retreat, his outlook changed completely, and he is now positive about the future.
“The experience has given me the chance to evaluate who and what I am – it has given me the chance to step back and really go for my dreams. Everything I could have hoped for is coming true!”
"Before I arrived at Caritas Anchor House, I was terrified and couldn't trust anyone."
Tarana was kidnapped by the Eritrean army at the age of 14 and was used as a sex slave for four years. Eventually, she escaped and found her way to England, where she was granted leave to stay. Due to her traumatic experiences, she had major psychological issues and would shower daily at 2am, trying to wash away her disgust at the situation that she had been in. Caritas Anchor House staff worked through an extremely distressing time with Tarana, but eventually she was successfully rehoused, gained a degree and has embarked on a career in interior design.
“I'm finally able to be myself again - and it feels amazing. I couldn’t remember the last time I smiled before coming to Caritas Anchor House.”
"It's the way they help you - how they get you back on your feet. They don't shove or push you - they just give you a step up."
Joseph came out of hospital to find that his landlady had sold the flat he had been renting. Joseph found himself homeless and spent some time sofa surfing with friends and family before being referred to Caritas Anchor House. When he arrived, he was experiencing depression, but once he formed friendships here, things picked up very quickly. Joseph soon became engaged with our Volunteering Programme and began assisting our maintenance team. He has now moved on to independent accommodation, however, he regularly returns to Caritas Anchor House to continue volunteering.
"I will continue volunteering to thank them for what they’ve done for me. 40 years I’ve been in England, and the nicest people I’ve ever met are here at Caritas Anchor House.”
"By my early teens I had seen and experienced things that most people don't experience in their lifetime."
Duane starting taking drugs from the age of eight and was using cocaine by the age of 10. When he came to Caritas Anchor House, he had no form of schooling, over 160 offences on his criminal record and had been in prison 30 times. It had been estimated that he had cost society £1.5million by the time he was 30. These problems were all directly related to his substance misuse and the deep seated issues behind it, something which Caritas Anchor House worked very hard to resolve with him. After four years, Duane has now been drug-free for one year and has secured his first job with a charity working with ex-offenders, to support others with experiences similar to his.
"I can't thank Caritas Anchor House enough, and now I couldn't be happier to be helping those in a similiar situation to me."
“I’ve come such a long way since I arrived at Caritas Anchor House a year ago. I talk to the other residents and I say, “If I can do it, you can do it!”"
When Josephine lost her catering job she was unable to pay the rent, and began sofa surfing before moving into Caritas Anchor House. Initially, Josephine was very unsettled and not really sure whether this was right for her – having lost all confidence and lacking any motivation to create change in her life, she felt scared and alone. However, after completing confidence building courses and voluntary work in the Caritas Anchor House kitchen, she started applying for jobs and was able to secure a full time role in a hotel.
“The great news is that I recently secured a full-time role in catering at a local hotel, and I’m really looking forward to moving into my own place in the near future.”
“I found Caritas Anchor House to be the Golden Hostel at the end of the homeless road.”
David has a long history of drug and alcohol addictions, and came to Caritas Anchor House having spent a number of years sleeping on the streets. At first, David found it difficult to stay away from his old friends and their drink and drug habits, but after six months at Caritas Anchor House he had a completely different attitude to life. David regularly attends mutual aid meetings, and takes part in our volunteer programme, including helping out at the local food bank. David has recently moved into independent accommodation, but continues to volunteer at Caritas Anchor House.
“They provided me with a purpose to wake up every morning and I have the Caritas Anchor House team to thank for that."
“I’ll always be grateful to Caritas Anchor House. They put themselves out there for everyone.”
Sandra became homeless after her landlady demanded back the property she was renting. Upon joining Caritas Anchor House, Sandra initially stuck to herself, but says she found the staff and residents to be friendly and she was made to feel welcome. She began helping at the local food bank as part of our volunteering programme, saying she wanted to give back to those in need. This has rebuilt Sandra's confidence, and she is hoping to secure employment in the near future.
“I have always been a quiet and private person, but volunteering has helped me a lot with my confidence – helped me to come out of my shell.”