During the winter, Catching Lives works alongside other agencies, such as Canterbury City Council offer a form of emergency accommodation under Winter Provision to as many rough sleepers as possible, giving opportunities to work with such individuals to try and find more permanent housing options for those who want it.
The Covid-19 pandemic meant that this winter we were unable to operate our usual Canterbury Community Shelter, as clients staying would have been sleeping in a church hall, sharing the airspace, and therefore at risk of catching and spreading the covid-19 virus. We explained to Canterbury City Council at an early stage that we would not have the funds to secure a venue at which all those staying would have their own rooms.
The outcome was that Canterbury City Council were able to negotiate a licence to occupy all the rooms at the Youth Hostels Association (YHA) building on New Dover Road from 14th December 2020 to 27th February 2021, meaning that 17 rooms were available for rough sleepers to occupy. This included their own shower and toilet facilities so they did not have to share with anyone else.
Assessments for rooms were carried out by Catching Lives Project Workers at the Canterbury Open Day Centre on Station Road East. Those allocated a room were able to keep it until they either found other suitable accommodation to move into, or had to leave due to serious behavioural issues that would have put the safety of others at risk.
Read the full 2020 to 2021 report here.
Campaign Kent CIC Social Policy Reports- Please also find reports compiled by Kelly Napier, director at Campaign Kent (and a Catching Lives trustee) with detailed case studies of some of the situations, for example hospital discharge to street homelessness, that our shelter guests faced this winter, and also an analysis of the data collected (and how it compares to last year).
There remain issues with the number of people being released from local prisons and hospitals without any where to stay and with the increased demand for private rented accommodation we are seeing a number of clients who have not been treated well by their landlords.
Canterbury Community Shelter can continue to make a difference with local people (such as our volunteers, donors or supporters) making real and measurable inroads on a local level, to a national problem. We couldn’t do it without your support.
If you would like any further information about the Canterbury Community Shelter you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.