The Shelter Trust is to open a dedicated facility for homeless women, providing accommodation and support support for up to 20 women in the summer.
The need for a women-only facility was recently highlighted in the Homelessness Strategy, which the Shelter Trust helped develop.
There is currently no ‘women-only’ provision for those in urgent need of emergency accommodation, except for the Women’s Refuge, which has limited capacity and is only able to provide short stays.
The Shelter Trust, which provides accommodation for up to 125 homeless people across four sites as well as operating an outreach service for ‘rough sleepers’, has partnered with Christians Together in Jersey Housing Trust (CTJ HT).
Pictured: The new facility, which will hopefully open in the summer, will operate from premises owned by Christians Together in Jersey Housing Trust.
The new women-only facility, which will hopefully open in the summer, will operate from premises owned by CTJHT and builds on the successful partnerships developed with the Trust and other social housing providers which have helped extend both Shelter’s service offering and its onward referral and accommodation options.
It will provide an emergency alternative, especially for women who are homeless and/or cannot access Women's Refuge, as well as an onward referral option once they have left the Refuge.
“Christians Together in Jersey Housing Trust is delighted to continue its partnership with Shelter in providing accommodation for people in need, and particularly so at a time of disruption resulting from the pandemic,” Advocate Charles Thacker, Chairman of CTJHT, said.
Neville Benbow, the Chairman of The Shelter Trust, said it had been a long-time ambition of the Trust to provide “improved services” for women who find themselves homeless.
“This new initiative will offer hope, dignity and a fresh start for the increasing numbers of women needing the support of Shelter,” he said.
“We know that being homeless is a traumatic event in anyone’s life. This new project will enhance the wellbeing of the women using our services. As always, our aim is for homeless people to be with us for as short a time as is practically possible before their return to mainstream accommodation and a better life.
“The opening of a dedicated women-only shelter will ensure that we are able to offer much more effective support to women than we have been able to thus far.”
Pictured: Advocate Charles Thacker, Chairman of Christians Together in Jersey Housing Trust and Neville Benbow, Chairman of The Shelter Trust.
The introduction of a new service model for the Trust, delivered by trained, experienced and skilled staff in a safe space, aims to address fundamental needs, improve living standards, and health and wellbeing, leading to better outcomes for homeless women.
Mr Benbow said it had been made possible by the “extraordinary funding package of grants and donations” from businesses and funding organisations including Le Gallais Real Estates Limited, the Lloyds Bank Foundation for the Channel Islands, Ocorian Trustees, Ann Alice Rayner Fund, the Roy Overland Charitable Trust.
The charity also received £189,500 as part of the second tranche of the Fiscal Stimulus Fund. In total, £6.8m of funding is being released to local organisations such as Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Jersey Hospice Care, the National Trust and Jersey Action Against Rape (JAAR).
“The benefits resulting from this tremendous financial support from friends and supporters, old and new, will be transformational and life changing for homeless women in Jersey, for which we’re extremely grateful.”
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