Charity opens Hope Street accommodation for rough sleepers

Amanda Dubarry shows Tom Copley around Hope Street

Amanda Dubarry shows Tom Copley around Hope Street - Credit: Alistair Veryard Photography

A charity has opened rooms for rough sleepers at its base in Canning Town.

Caritas Anchor House, in Barking Road, unveiled its latest accommodation project called Hope Street.

The 15 rooms were built in an unused warehouse and are designed in the form of a village.

It was opened by the charity's chief executive Amanda Dubarry and deputy mayor of London for housing Tom Copley.

Amanda said: "We’ve made every effort to ensure each room has its own individual design, so that it feels unique to the person living there.  

"We know that the challenge is not just to provide somewhere safe for the residents, but also to ensure they are ready for independent living when they leave here.”

One of those who have moved in to Hope Street is David Lockwood, who said he had been sleeping on the streets around Waterloo for more than 20 years.

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He added: "It is such a relief to live in a safe and secure place now, while I refocus and regain my confidence.

"The team here set me up straight away with some weekend work at Dagenham & Redbridge FC and I will be starting an IT and car mechanics course soon.

"When I move out, my plan is to become a car technician just like my dad was.

"Thanks to the team here, I am happy to say that things are finally now on the up.”

Hope Street was built in partnership with charity LandAid and architects OrsiniBrewin.

LandAid's pro bono development manager Nicole Lasky said the project has been designed as "little houses on a street".

She added: "Not only do they provide a bed to sleep in, but they help nurture a sense of community amongst the residents.  

"It has been an honour to be part of this project and hugely rewarding to see the first people move in."

Caritas Anchor House explained that many of those who will stay at Hope Street would be moving on from hotels or other emergency accommodation they have been housed at during the Covid pandemic.

Mr Copley said: “It’s an honour to open Hope Street. I’ve never seen anything quite like this before: it is such a great use of space."