Homeless charity in Kent forced to close winter shelter over cost of living crisis

Credit: ITV News Meridian

A charity in Kent says it cannot afford to run its Winter Homeless Shelter this year due to the cost of living crisis.

Catching Lives in Canterbury offers hot meals and overnight accommodation for rough sleepers.

However staff say the cost of living crisis means more people have been needing the service, but that the public have had less money to support charities like theirs.

Tasmin Maitland, Chief Executive of Catching Lives, said: "Providing people sleeping rough with a warm place to stay during the gruelling winter months has always been important to us.

"Sadly, we have been forced to take the difficult decision not to run our Winter Shelter, because of these financial pressures."

Catching Lives offers hot meals and overnight accommodation for rough sleepers. Credit: ITV News Meridian

She added: "We will focus instead on maintaining our seven-day drop-in services, and we'll work with the council's Rough Sleeping team to find routes off the street for people sleeping rough.

"It's frustrating, as we are seeing more people in need, and the churches were ready to support us again, and yet we can't open a shelter."

The charity says that 30 people a day visit the centre on average, and that it costs on average £19 per person a day to cover essential help.

It has now launched an appeal to raise money to secure help for people who are homeless in Canterbury and East Kent during the winter months.

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