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New shelter opening "positive" but reflects "growing problem"

New shelter opening

Monday 10 October 2022

New shelter opening "positive" but reflects "growing problem"

Monday 10 October 2022


The opening of a new men's shelter is a "positive" step forward in addressing the "symptoms" of homelessness - but "as an island we need to focus on solving the underlying causes", according to the Chair of Sanctuary Trust.

As communities across the globe mark World Homeless Day today, local charity Sanctuary Trust have officially opened the doors of its third shelter.

Located in New Street, the six-bedroom facility means the charity can now offer support and temporary accommodation for up to 30 men.

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Pictured: All six rooms are already kitted out with the basics, but each resident is encourage to decorate their room to make it their own.

This particular shelter will be for residents who have secured employment and are in the final stages of their journey to live independently.

The property provides the residents with everything they would expect to have in their own homes and they will continue to have access to Sanctuary Trust’s support and counselling services at the house, and when they move on.

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Pictured: In his opening speech, Chair Frank Walker explained that whilst this new shelter addresses the "symptoms" of homelessness, "as an island we need to focus on solving the underlying causes".

The house, which is already home to three men, was donated by Andium Homes who also donated old furniture from the Mayfair Hotel to help the charity furnish the building.

The painting of the building was done by members of the Foundations Project by Customer and Local Services, which helps people getting back into work.

Under the supervision of a professional painter, trainee painters were able to use the renovation of the building to practise their trade whilst also providing a "huge saving" for The Sanctuary Trust.

Frank Walker, Chair of Sanctuary Trust, said: “It is a significant milestone to open the doors of our third facility, particularly as we mark World Homeless Day, but we do so with a variety of emotions. On the one hand, it’s a real positive that we can accommodate more men who are experiencing hardship and help them to get back on their feet.

"On the other, it very clearly highlights the growing problem we have with homelessness in the island. This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency, before the situation deteriorates further.

"Today, of all days, it is particularly poignant for us to really shine a light on the very hidden issue right here on our doorstep that local charities are having to manage.”

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Pictured: Frank Walker and Sarah Tumelty outside the newest house, L'Abri.

Sarah Tumelty, General Manager, added: “Demand for our services has been at an all-time high in the past couple of years and we anticipate this is only set to increase with the cost of living and housing crisis the island is experiencing.

"Since the beginning of 2022, we have supported 21 new residents, but sadly have had to turn away 25 people, because all our rooms have been occupied.

"Many of those men were added to our waiting list and subsequently offered accommodation."

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Pictured: The Sanctuary Trust also used the day to try and spread awareness about the wider issues of homelessness in Jersey.

She continued: "Having a property in town is a huge asset as, not only does it allow us to support more men in crisis, it also means our residents can more easily integrate back into the community.

"The transition from living in a shelter to living independently can be extremely daunting so now we can offer them a comfortable, homely environment and be there for them throughout the process. 

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Pictured: Islanders walking through town today were also greeted by large poster installations on the ground and in doorways with messaging designed to make them stop and think about homelessness.

As well as holding an official opening event for the New Street property, The Sanctury Trust team have also been in King Street today raising awareness about World Homeless Day. 

The charity have produced a small handout called 'A Jersey Issue Too' - a nod to the UK's Big Issue - which full of stories and facts about The Sanctuary Trust.

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