Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

East London charity praised as “safe haven” on World Homeless Day

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East London charity praised as “safe haven” on World Homeless Day

7th October 2016
Member of Parliament for East Ham, Stephen Timms, has praised an East London charity for providing “a safe haven to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”

The comment was made at a reception to mark World Homeless Day at the House of Lords, put on by homeless charity Caritas Anchor House and sponsored by the Global Noticeboard. World Homeless Day aims to draw attention to the estimated 100 million people globally who are without a place to live, and encourages society to support the homeless charities working to make a difference.

Timms applauded the work of Caritas Anchor House as “the best example of an organisation serving its community, and enabling people to plan for a decent future.”

Every year, Caritas Anchor House provides accommodation and support to single homeless people, giving them so much more than just a roof over their heads. They work with vulnerable groups, including those experiencing substance misuse, domestic abuse, mental health problems and offending. Last year alone, they provided a home for 211 people, helping 58 into independent living and supporting 36 into employment.

The charity is based in the London Borough of Newham, and was commended by event host Field Marshal Lord Guthrie on their transformative programmes, while operating in one of the most deprived areas in the country.

Lord Guthrie, a Patron of the charity, said, “Caritas Anchor House’s results for employment and rehousing are astonishing – they turn around the lives of those who go there, and give them a reason to live.”

Keith Fernett, Chief Executive of the charity, described how the organisation puts the residents at the core of everything they do - a message echoed by Debbie Brown, a previously homeless person now living at Caritas Anchor House.

Debbie moved into Caritas Anchor House one year ago, on 06th October 2015. Having experienced traumatic events during her childhood, the loss of her daughter and a spell in prison, Debbie was “caught up in madness”. Debbie then lost her home and for four years, found herself homeless and sleeping on buses.

“When I moved in to Caritas Anchor House, I was gobsmacked. For the first time in years, I had a roof over my head, and I sobbed. I had a bed - it was mine and had my name on it.”

Since coming to Caritas Anchor House, Debbie has turned her life around. She has taken part in training and volunteering opportunities, secured herself a week placement in Iain Duncan Smith’s private office and is now working with young offenders living in the area.

“Homelessness is such a major issue for everyone. Losing your home – whether it’s a huge house or a tiny studio – is devastating. I’ve come across so many people who never believed they would find themselves without a roof over their head, the comfort or security of their own front door, or to be left with nothing overnight. But, it does happen, and regularly.”

Debbie praised the support she has received in her time at Caritas Anchor House, and said, “Without Caritas Anchor House I might not still be around. They gave me back who I am, and probably a little bit more. I’ve achieved so much, and I couldn’t be more proud.”

Caritas Anchor House has embarked on a vital development to improve and expand their services, including 25 ‘move-on’ flats, to support homeless people into independent living. The flats are due for completion in November 2016 and will allow the charity to provide a home and support to an additional 50 people each year.

Monsignor John Armitage, Chair of Trustees at Caritas Anchor House, said “Homelessness happens for all sorts of reasons, and at Caritas Anchor House, we try to provide the environment, love and support to help people rebuild their lives.”

“Someone once asked, ‘how many storeys do you have a Caritas Anchor House?’ to which I answered ‘we have five floors, but thousands of stories.’ And those inspiring stories are what Caritas Anchor House is all about.”

The charity needs support to ensure that every person that walks through their doors has access to the best care and support possible, making the hope of independent life a reality. For more information, or to make a contribution to turn a life around, please visit www.caritasanchorhouse.org.uk or call 020 7476 6062.

EDITORS NOTES:

In London, homelessness is dramatically increasing. In 2015/2016, 8,096 people slept rough at some point in London, marking a 7 percent increase on the previous year.

Caritas Anchor House is a residential and life skills centre addressing the root causes of homelessness – including poor education, drug or alcohol misuse, mental health problems, domestic abuse or offending. Their driving mission is to ensure that those who walk through their doors grow in confidence and move towards leading independent, self-fulfilling lives by providing education, guidance and personal rehabilitation. Registered charity no: 1147794 www.caritasanchorhouse.org.uk

The Global Noticeboard (GNB) is a humanitarian social networking platform, aiming to tackle social exclusion. Everything that happens on the GNB contributes to their mission to help make the world a better place. Their initial focus is to strive to eradicate homelessness. www.globalnoticeboard.com

MEDIA CONTACT:

For interviews or photo requests, please contact Jazmine Sandison, Communications Lead

Phone: 020 7476 6062

Email: communications@caritasanchorhouse.org.uk

Website: www.caritasanchorhouse.org.uk

PHOTOGRAPHS:

High resolution photos are available on request. All photo credits to mattbadenoch.com

Stephen Timms MP

Monsignor John Armitage

Debbie Brown, a previously homeless resident living at Caritas Anchor House