Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

Refugee Week 2016

Our News in Brief

Refugee Week 2016

20th June 2016
Refugee Week takes place every year across the word, and in the UK the festival celebrates the contributions refugees have made to our nation.

This year’s theme is ‘welcome’, and starts on 20 June, World Refugee Day, until 26 June.

Each year Caritas Anchor House offers a home and support to over 210 homeless and vulnerable people, some of whom are refugees. Refugees face similar housing pressures and hurdles as other homeless people, but may have also faced violence, discrimination and trauma in their home country. Many who arrive in the UK have lost family and friends and don’t have access to a support network.

At Caritas Anchor House, we recognise our refugee residents may need extra support, and we have a dedicated team of Lifestyle Architects to work with them. We help to access appropriate services as part of their Personal Development Plan, engage in community and support networks, and provide training opportunities to help increase their confidence and employability, such as ESOL courses. We also work in partnership with organisations to deliver support for mental health and substance misuse, and work with Praxis Community Projects to support our residents with refugee status to obtain appropriate ID documents and support.

One refugee resident at Caritas Anchor House is Samuel. Samuel came to the UK in 2011 and spent two years in a shared asylum house waiting for Home Office Approval. However, once he was granted asylum he was given just 28 days to find alternative accommodation and vacate his room. Unsurprisingly, without a job or income, Samuel was unable to find somewhere to live and was forced onto the streets where he experienced depression, self-harmed and started to use drugs as a way to self-medicate.

In his first six months at Caritas Anchor House, Samuel was very reserved and found it difficult to trust those around him. However, after time he began to form friendships with others living here, and engage in the support and services on offer. He now takes part in our Volunteering Programme and greets visitors, attends events and helps in our kitchen

“I felt like I was finished, but Caritas Anchor House has helped me to see that that isn’t the case. I have a future and I am feeling stronger,” says Samuel. “Caritas Anchor House has shown me that I can do something.”

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