Canning Town charity receives £93k funding boost for homelessness services during coronavirus pandemic
PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:39 07 August 2020
A funding boost will enable a homelessness charity in Canning Town to continue supporting some of Newham’s most vulnerable during the pandemic.
Caritas Anchor House has received more than £93,000 of emergency government funding distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF), which will help it to provide accommodation and personalised support to up to 300 people experiencing homelessness.
The funds will allow the charity to employ a resettlement worker to enhance its response to the ongoing housing crisis in Newham, which has the highest levels of homelessness in the country and the highest mortality rate as a result of Covid-19.
Many residents have been unable to move on from Caritas Anchor House in the past few months, despite being ready to do so, because of lockdown.
This new role will enable staff to support more residents through the move-on process, creating space other people to move in.
More than 200 homeless individuals are currently being housed in hotels in the borough as part of the government’s Everybody In scheme, so these bed spaces will be crucial in accommodating them over coming months.
Anthony Lewis, who is currently a resident, said Caritas Anchor House had made lockdown “a lot easier” for him.
“I can self-isolate whenever I choose to in a safe environment and there are food donations that come in every day,” he said.
“It’s been a very good support network here and it’s lowered my fears of catching coronavirus.”
The grant will also fund extra night staff to support residents with challenging and high-risk behaviours, particularly those who have been rough sleeping.
These staff are essential in promoting safe and secure spaces at Caritas Anchor House.
Additionally, the funding will help provide enhanced cleaning for the building as it continues to operate as a 24/7 residential and life skills centre.
As a result of this enhanced cleaning, there have been no cases of Covid-19 among residents.
The charity’s trust manager James McNicholas said: “This support from DCMS and the NLCF is hugely significant in allowing us to continue to provide a safe service to some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”
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