2021 will be a special year for the Sanctuary Trust, not only because it celebrates its 10th anniversary, but also because it will open its third house as it looks for "brighter days ahead."
The charity offers sanctuary, support and hope to homeless men in a crisis, and was set up in March 2011 by Colin Taylor, a group of committed Christians and St. Brelade parishioners who were troubled by the lack of options available for men facing a major crisis in their lives.
From these humble beginnings as a single guest house in St. Aubin, Sanctuary Trust has come a long way and is now a registered charity with a care home for 10 residents and a more independent facility for 14 men.
Over the past decade, the charity has helped 306 men with residential support, and many more through outreach or pastoral care.
Express spoke to Sanctuary Trust's fundraiser, Debbie Jeffries, about the charity's plans to expand in the new year...
"Over the last 12 months, we have faced a growing demand for our services as the most vulnerable in our community struggled with the additional pressures caused by a locked-down society. We have had to cancel all of our fundraising events, which has made a huge impact on our fundraising budget and latest reports in the media state that at the height of the pandemic over 200 people were seeking support and a roof over their heads.
"It is now more important than ever that the issues of homelessness in Jersey are addressed and we hope that the new Children's and Housing Minister takes up the reins.
We will certainly be playing our part in tackling the issue of homelessness as our latest plans include opening a third house. This exciting news means that we will be able to offer up to six additional rooms to those in need and in our opinion, our expansion couldn’t have come at a more prominent time.
The new facility has been made possible thanks to the generosity of our landlords, Andium Homes, with whom we signed a lease on 1 December. Some refurbishment work is needed, but we hope to be able to take residents in shortly.
Pictured: Sanctuary Trust plan to open a third house in 2021.
Other plans for the New Year include re-launching all of or fundraising events; starting with our Walk into Light at Easter, and celebrating our birthday with residents old and new.
What better gift could we receive than being given the chance to extend our reach to those in need.
2021 is already looking a much brighter year than the one we have just lived."