What is Catching Lives?
Catching Lives is an independent charity aimed at supporting the rough sleepers, homeless and vulnerably housed in Canterbury and East Kent; those who have, for many reasons, fallen through the gaps in society and feel they have nowhere else to turn.
Our vision is of a society where all are included and all, no matter how disadvantaged, can make a contribution. Catching Lives works towards ending the harm caused to individuals, families and the community, by homelessness, rough sleeping and insecure housing. We do this by offering immediate respite at our project in Canterbury: the Canterbury Open Centre. In addition to this, we work with our clients to help them to tackle any issues that they may have, get access to suitable accommodation and find the motivation to take steps towards personal recovery and independent living.
To this end, a combination of several different types of interventions are available on site; basic services such as nutritious meals, showers laundry, clothing and a postal address; health services providing access to the Mental Health Outreach Service, assistance in registering with a GP; referral to specialist for further care; social and emotional support offering a listening ear, pastoral care and crisis recovery support; advice, advocacy and referral, giving housing and benefits advice, amongst others; work, learning and meaningful activities engaging in recreational and community activities, literacy and numeracy support.
- Food (Breakfast, Lunch, Food Parcels and referrals to the Canterbury Food Bank).
- Laundry; 2 Washing Machines, 2 Condenser Tumble Dryers and we supply the detergent. Clients are responsible for doing their own laundry.
- Toilets and Showers (We supply a variety of toiletries and clean towels).
- Storage (Rough sleepers have access to a small area wherein they can store belongings that they can’t carry with them; or are particularly personally valuable).
- Postal Address (essential for claiming benefits, looking for work, or registering with a GP).
- Use of a Telephone.
- IT suite (Computers and internet access).
- Mental Health Outreach Service.
- Advocacy and Advice Services which include specialist advice on:
- Welfare Benefits
- Income Tax
- Domestic Abuse
- Access to ESOL lessons and literacy classes
- A variety of structured activities (inc. Film Club, relaxation classes, gardening)
- Signposting to all manner of agencies.
- Canterbury Community Shelter