The Canterbury Hub

Latest news from CCCU's Journalism course


Charity provides accommodation for rough sleepers this Christmas

Around 17,000 people dropped in on a homeless shelter in Kent last year and they’re expecting similar numbers again as the winter draws in.

Catching Lives is a charity based in Canterbury. Every year they provide overnight services for people sleeping rough to stay in accommodation.

The amount of people who are living rough on the streets has doubled over the past five years in Canterbury. In the UK, 320,000 are homeless and living in temporary accommodation and there are more than 5,000 people are on the streets, according to figures released last month.

Catching Lives Project Leader, Graeme Solly, said:

“We registered 32 new clients in October who we’ve never seen before, over one a day.”

This year, Canterbury City Council have used money from the rough sleeper initiative to provide an extra £55,000 to keep the night shelter open for an additional three months, doubling the length of time.

Solly continued: “We’re probably seeing at the moment about 45 people a day. The number of people rough sleeping has been increasing year on year for a number of years. But that’s still double what we saw in 2013, so over the last five years effectively doubling the number of people accessing our service.”

The charity will be hosting a Christmas concert at Westgate Hall on Sunday, December 16th in Canterbury, with proceeds going towards raising money for Catching Lives. Tickets are £10 for adults and £2.50 for under 16 year olds. The concert will be featuring the City of Canterbury Chamber Choir along with Elham Valley Voices, winners of Top Choir Kent 2017.