St Catharine’s Convent Homeless Project offers friendship and practical support to homeless and disadvantaged people. We normally provide morning and evening meals, toilet and shower facilities, and perhaps - more importantly - a warm welcome, a listening ear and a place to call ‘Home’.
The project is used by up to 200 people a day. These range from long-term homeless people who are sleeping rough or staying in hostels around the city, to old age pensioners who bus in from their flats in the Edinburgh estates for a meal and some company. It’s all about helping our community.
Of course, we are working in a different way because of COVID. All the homeless are housed in hotels, flats or other types of accommodation for now. We help them with food and heating.
We are also working with families who are desperate because of job loss, who have never been out of work before – giving food parcels and helping out with money where we can.
Support groups are unable to meet together at this time. It is all online or on phone. Some people are unable to cope with the isolation. Four of our regulars have died because of loneliness.
Finally, we are working with very vulnerable young girls who have been caught up in the sex industry. To let you know about how vulnerable they are, they charge £25 for selling themselves.