Homeless charity open their winter shelter

It’s getting worse rather than better. – Michael James, Fundraiser at Catching Lives.

Homelessness is a situation that many people overlook. However, figures from The Shelter show there is an estimated 320,000 people homeless every year.

During the winter, temperatures frequently drop below freezing in the UK meaning the homeless are left out in the cold. However, a homeless charity in Canterbury – Catching Lives have opened a winter shelter from 1st December 2019 to 31st March 2020 with support from several local churches.

Canterbury Highstreet

Even though there is a Rough Sleepers Initiative, meaning if the temperatures drop below freezing on a number of consecutive days, the council and authority have to put in certain measures to make sure there are no deaths due to this. However, this does not apply to all shelters and charities due to financial and sometimes political reasons.

Housing is the biggest concern every year for the homeless. Michael James a fundraiser at Catching Lives said: “There is not enough affordable housing… we need more spaces. Those that there are, there are not enough of.”

The charity is open seven days a week and welcomes hundreds of people each year and these figures are predicted to rise. Michael continued to say: “We had 450 people last year come in here and only a percentage of those we have found housing for, and there are more this year…. It’s getting worse rather than better.”

Catching Lives Charity are frequently holding events to raise money. The next fundraising event for the charity is their Carol Concert on  Sunday 15th December. Along with this the charity frequently hold talks at schools and universities across Kent. They aim to encourage more people to help out with fundraising and ending homelessness.

A homeless man spoke about his story and struggle on the street: