Caritas Anchor House is a charity in Canning Town, Newham (London), providing temporary accomodations to homeless. Residents can find support and guidance to recover from rough sleeping, drug addiction, traumatic experiences, mental health issues.
When Covid19 happened, Newham was hardly hit by the virus. The neighborhood is one of the poorest in London, with 50% of children iliving in poverty. The rate of households in temporary accomodations is the highest in the capital, with 49 per 1.000 versus 17 per 1.000 overall. Evictions have the highest numbers too and rough sleepers are more likely to be seen compared to other areas of the city.
Anchor House had to face new challenges, adapting to safety regulations and, at the same time, finding ways to limit the disconnection with their members. 140 residents at Anchor House could only rely on their key workers, who were carrying out constant checks by phone calls or in person, respecting safe distance. Isolation, uncertainty and fears trigged anxiety again in many of the residents. They were living in their rooms most of the time, as all the leisure spaces were removed or closed to prevent the spread of the virus. The interaction possible with other residents or key workers was the only motivation for many.