Helping homeless guests move onwards and upwards

A homelessness shelter in a London borough with the highest percentage of homeless people in England has benefited from a major upgrade with help from Allchurches Trust.

Caritas Anchor House is one step closer to completing the refurbishment of its centre with the help of a £1500 grant from Allchurches. So far, changes to the lounge and communal spaces have improved the lives of residents by providing them with a modern space. New computers and desks allow residents to apply for jobs, claim benefits, search for permanent housing and keep in touch with family and friends.

The shelter now plans to upgrade more areas of the building, including installing new central heating and a residential kitchen which will increase independence among guests.

The shelter is located in Newham, Greater London, where, according to the charity Shelter, a staggering one in 24 people are now homeless. The need to update the lounge became more pressing after the shelter increased its capacity from 115 to 140 beds. Between March 2017 and March 2018, the shelter was able to support 91 people into independent accommodation, 45 into secure employment and 22 made the move into the shelter’s own programme, ‘First Stage Move-on’.

In addition to the shelter’s permanent residencies for homeless guests, they have recently launched a project to help rough sleepers through the harsh winter months. The project will offer short-term tenancies for approximately six weeks and support guests to find more permanent accommodation.

James McNicholas, trust manager at Caritas Anchor House, said: “This project will help reach, house and support some of the most vulnerable people with the most challenging and complex needs in our community.”

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