At a reception in Parliament to mark World Homeless Day (5 October 2017), organised by homelessness charity Caritas Anchor House, guests were encouraged to tackle the global issue of homelessness on a local level by supporting charities working to make a difference.
Lord Bird, founder of ‘The Big Issue’, commended Caritas Anchor House for addressing the needs of the whole person, including the reasons people became homeless in the first place. He said, “Homelessness is not simply because you haven’t got a home; it’s often because our problems become compounded. Caritas Anchor House is a support system to help people address the reasons why they find themselves homeless, and enables them to move on, have a fuller life, and contribute to society rather than be on the edge looking in. I can see their ambition and desire to change their lives.”
Each year, Caritas Anchor House offers a home and support to over 250 homeless people. By providing education, guidance and personal rehabilitation they help their residents to break the cycle of homelessness and rebuild their lives. Last year alone, Caritas Anchor House provided a home and support to 254 homeless people, helped 89 into independent living and 38 into employment.
The charity, based in the London Borough of Newham, was commended by ITV newsreader Julie Etchingham, who spoke passionately at the reception about how Caritas Anchor House raises the aspirations of people who were formerly homeless. This message was echoed by John, a resident living at Caritas Anchor House, who recalled his time sleeping on the streets and said, “When you’re homeless and do not have anyone to speak to, it makes you wish you didn’t see the morning. But I feel every dark night there is a brighter day, and thanks to Caritas Anchor House I now see a brighter day.”