Caritas Anchor House is a Catholic homelessness charity providing residential and life-skills support for single homeless adults. Our driving mission is to ensure that those who walk through our doors grow in confidence and move towards leading independent, self-fulfilling lives.
CAH is based in the London Borough of Newham, a borough where a staggering 37% of the population are living in poverty, and 1 in 25 people are homeless – that’s more than anywhere else in the country.
We are a beacon of hope in Newham. Each year we help over 250 people turn their lives around and move on from homelessness. We do more than simply offer a roof over someone’s heads. By providing education, guidance and personal rehabilitation we help people overcome barriers, gain confidence and skills, and address the causes of their homelessness.
The support we provide is tailored to the needs of each individual that calls Caritas Anchor House home. Our Keyworkers meet with each resident for one-on-one support from day one, with help ranging from signposting to external services, to encouragement to participate in activities which improve confidence and wellbeing.
Those experiencing homeless are more vulnerable to other issues, but have a specialised set of keyworkers in our team including a mental health lead, substance misuse specialist, a young person lead, as well as a member with direct experience of homelessness. This is all to make sure that each person can receive the best support for them, and have the best chance at building a new beginning.
Our frontline staff also expands past keyworkers, and is complemented by team members specialising in education, training and employment (ETE), advocacy and move-on.
When asked in our survey this year, residents reported that ‘somewhere to live’ followed by ‘help finding employment’, were the two most important things for them at CAH, which is not surprising as upon arrival only 3% of our intake is in paid employment. Thankfully for our residents we have a dedicated education, training and employment team who support service users to secure training, qualifications and work experience. We give our residents opportunities for learning, such as barbering and cooking, which help to grow a resident’s confidence in their ability to learn, and chances to try out new professions.
Finally our residents are supported into independent living by our Move-On team who guide service users through the sometimes overwhelming process of moving out. It is important for our residents to feel comfortable as they leave supported accommodation and so our team arranges, and often accompanies residents to viewings, ensuring that a property is safe and suitable. We also help in setting up utilities, transferring benefits and many other processes which may be unfamiliar.
But Caritas Anchor House does not only focus on those living in our accommodation. We aim to increase the wellbeing and resilience of our community as a whole. Our community resilience and outreach programmes are exemplified with our Your Space project, which reaches out to the most isolated members of the community and brings them together in a safe space, facilities conversations and the building of bridges, confidence, and security.