Lack of computer skills or access to online technology is a ‘common theme’ for people at risk of homelessness , says Deptford Reach

Katherine Johnston (18 December, 2019) Housing

Around 300 people a month are using the Deptford Reach drop-in centre

33945The day centre

A charity helping rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness says many of those in need of help are struggling with the world increasingly moving online.

Deptford Reach, a day centre for vulnerable people, has a small team of four staff members who support people to find accommodation, get back into work and resolve any tenancy problems.

As half the people who use the centre are over the age of 50, computer literacy is a big issue as they try and navigate the complexities of finding a home, care and the right support.

Katherine Cowling, the day centre’s lead manager, said: “As it’s getting colder we are seeing more people access the centre during the day. Last month this was over 300 people and we expect it to remain this busy. Each month we meet 35 people that are new to the service, often coming to us for help so that they don’t become homeless.

“This looks different for different people, but a common theme is around computer literacy – as a society we are moving on line, but not everyone has the skills or equipment to keep up.

“During winter it is particularly heart-breaking to tell people that we, as a day centre, have no immediate way of helping them, but we do work closely with local outreach teams to make sure that people spend a minimal amount of time on the street.”

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