Columnists > ‘Charities only go so far: they treat the symptoms, not the cause’

19 October 2013 | by Catherine Pepinster

‘Charities only go so far: they treat the symptoms, not the cause’

Bruk lost his home when his landlord decided to re-let his house in time to reap a higher rent from people attending the London Olympics. Cameron, who was running his own painting and decorating business, working every hour possible, until he fell 25ft off a ladder, severely damaged ligaments in his leg and couldn’t walk or work, ended up homeless, too. No work meant he could not pay his rent. These are the life stories of two of the people helped by Anchor House, the Catholic organisation in the East End of London. The most disturbing aspect of so many people’s accounts of homelessness is just how little separates a secure, settled existence from a life of desperation on the streets. Six years ago, the trustees of Anchor House started to transform it into a place which not


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