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Homeless shelter nearing capacity despite new units

Homeless shelter nearing capacity despite new units

Wednesday 03 June 2020

Homeless shelter nearing capacity despite new units


More than 50 islanders have turned to the Shelter Trust since corona virus hit the island, leading the charity to open two new units, which are already nearly at capacity.

The Shelter Trust opened an additional 22 beds during the pandemic, bringing its capacity to 124 residents. It is currently providing emergency accommodation for 115 people.

It comes after over 50 people turned to the charity, which provides accommodation as well as support services for homeless people in Jersey, during the corona virus pandemic.

 

Prior to the arrival of the virus in the island, the charity had actually tried to make space in its buildings by relocating individuals who had been assessed as being ready and capable of independent living, having recognised that demand for their services would likely increase due to the risk of redundancies. 

In addition to providing accommodation, the Shelter team has been contacting many new and former service users at various locations including hotels, private accommodations and family homes as part of the charity’s Outreach Service.

They have also been checking potential areas for rough sleeping several times a week. They are currently supporting two rough sleepers who have been living in their vehicles. Both have declined the offer of a bed at Aztec House, but the Trust has been providing them with food and access to showers. 

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Pictured: The Shelter team has maintained the outreach services to help “boost morale, encourage individuals and sustain a constructive, harmonious atmosphere".

In a post shared on their Facebook page, the charity said it had “benefitted enormously from the good sense, mutual care and support of old and new service users” during lockdown.

Meanwhile management and staff worked hard to “boost morale, encourage individuals and sustain a constructive, harmonious atmosphere in the face of exceptionally difficult circumstance, the likes of which nobody has experienced previously.”

“To date Shelter Trust strategies have proved in large measure successful, the charity added.

While it can’t predict the future of the economy and the jobs market, the charity has assured existing service users and those who may found themselves at risk of homelessness in the “coming weeks, months and years” that it will work with Government and partner agencies to mitigate problems and pressures as they arise. 

“The Shelter Trust will be there, ready and able to support homeless people in Jersey,” the team wrote. 

As the Tinathon scheduled for 22 May had to be cancelled, the charity asked islanders who would normally support the event with donations of food tins to make a donation.  

 Islanders can also sign up for one of Vanessa Garett’s "on demand" yoga classes to help raise funds for the charity.  

Many islanders have also showed their support for the charity by praising the work the team has done amid “challenging circumstances” on social media.

“A fabulous effort through difficult circumstances and a much-needed service always,” Suzanne Le Marquand said. “Please keep us updated if you are in need of any donations.” 

“Keep up the good work and invaluable support you provide the vulnerable and all of you stay safe,” Aimee Benning added. 

Betty Ellis wrote: “Shelter trust does a wonderful job...so kind and caring. Keep safe, keep well and a big thank you to all your team for what you do.”

To make a donation to the Shelter Trust, click here.

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