Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

From the streets to a place to call home

Our News in Brief

From the streets to a place to call home

22nd January 2019
In December 2018, we launched our Rough Sleepers Assessment Hub in Newham.

Figures released last year showed that at least one in 24 people in the borough are homeless – the highest in the country.

Our new service provides a lifeline to vulnerable people who are sleeping on the streets this winter and beyond, by offering a short-term tenancy for approximately six weeks and support to access appropriate accommodation.

Ahmad was one of the first people to access the hub, and has been with us for just over five weeks. He is delighted to be moving into his own home today. Ahmad shares his story.

“I was living in a council flat, but had a gambling addiction and couldn’t keep up with the rent. I ended up in debt and was evicted from my home.

"I had nowhere to go. I ended up sleeping rough and often stayed in the Stratford Centre – where lots of homeless people stay – to keep as warm and dry as I could through the night.

"I lived in the shopping centre for six weeks, and it was overwhelming and scary. It isn’t safe there, but it feels safer than the streets.

"My mental health took a knock. Thankfully, the outreach team supported me into a B&B, where I stayed for two months and tried to look after myself.

"I was then referred on to Caritas Anchor House’s assessment hub for people sleeping rough, and moved in in mid-December.

"My support worker, Zainab, has been helping me to sort out my benefits and manage my money properly, not to go back to gambling, and has sorted out support for my mental health.

"Being at Caritas Anchor House has been a real help for me. I’ve been able to look after myself, prepare food and meet others. There is great support here.

"I feel really happy because Caritas Anchor House has helped me to move on. Later today I am moving into my own home, but I will continue to receive support for my mental health. Zainab is helping me with my new tenancy agreement and to set up all my household bills by direct debit so that I don’t miss payments and end up back on the streets.

"I’m looking forward now. Once I am feeling more settled and my mental health is improved, I will begin looking for jobs. But for now, I’m just so pleased to have a roof over my head.”

You could help more people like Ahmad by making a donation. Thank you.

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