Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

Action Week 2014: Standing alongside people in crisis

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Action Week 2014: Standing alongside people in crisis

23rd January 2014

Poverty and Homelessness Action Week begins on 26th January, and aims to raise awareness of the underlying factors of poverty and homelessness. Organised by Church Action on Poverty, Housing Justice and Scottish Churches Housing Action, Action Week has been running since 2008.

Today in Britain, many people live in poverty and struggle to make ends meet. Low wages, zero-hours contracts, pay day loans, benefits cuts and sanctions – all these and more are resulting in a society where the poorest are excluded and more people than ever are just two pay packets away from homelessness.

At Caritas Anchor House, a homelessness charity based in the London Borough of Newham, they see first-hand how devastating the effect of this can be. The third most deprived borough in England and Wales, Newham has the highest single borough homeless population in the UK and the second highest unemployment rate in London.

“Action Week’s theme this year is ‘Standing alongside people in crisis’, and at Caritas Anchor House that’s just what we do,” said Director, Keith Fernett.

“In times like these, many people are struggling, but we aim to be a helping hand – not just to our residents but also the community as a whole.

“We provide training courses and support services to local community members, and also raise awareness of the serious issue of homelessness by delivering talks in schools. We are a relatively small charity, but we have big ideas, and we know we make a difference to people’s lives.”

In 2013, Caritas Anchor House provided a home and support to 232 single homeless people, supporting 86 into employment and helping 64 residents move out and into independent living. (Source: Aspirations Programme)

“This place is unique,” said Emma, a resident who arrived at Caritas Anchor House after fleeing domestic violence.

“They expect a lot of you, but they support you to do it. When I first arrived, I had lost my confidence and was really unsure of myself, but they helped me believe in myself again. I’ve been taking courses, done some volunteering at the local community centre and completed a back to work placement with a market research company. Recently I started applying for jobs again, and it felt great. For the first time in a while, I’m looking forward to the future.”

To get involved, why not try one of the suggestions below:

  • Schools and community groups could hold a coffee morning or bake day to raise awareness and fundraise
  • Individuals can keep up to date and support Caritas Anchor House by joining the organisation’s Facebook and Twitter pages
  • They can also make a donation to support the cause and help make sure that the work of Caritas Anchor House can continue.
  • By making a small donation, you can help Caritas Anchor House to make a big difference.

 

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