The original purpose was to provide temporary accommodation to out-of-work seafarers coming into and out of the nearby ports.
London's industrial landscape began to change, and 1969 saw the closure of the London Docks. Whilst Anchor House continued to act as a refuge for seamen, it gradually fell into disrepair, as did Canning Town. Anchor House then began operating as a residential centre for homeless people, but by 2004, it was on the brink of being shut down. New management was appointed and the charity has now transformed into a flagship project, providing residential and life skills services to over 220 single homeless adults each year.
In January 2014, we changed our name from Anchor House to Caritas Anchor House. This was part of a planned move towards becoming a community focused centre of excellence and innovation, and whilst we remain in essence the same organisation, the addition of Caritas to our name is a reflection that, while an independent charity, we are a part of a wider national and international network of charities who share the same vision and principles.
The word Caritas means Christian love and charity, but despite being a Catholic charity, we provide services to people regardless of race, creed, religion or ethnicity.