First of all, a great big ‘Thank you’ to all who supported us over the Christmas period. Not only have we been able to open up 7 nights a week (a first for us) but we were also open all over Christmas and the New Year. We also thank God for keeping us free from Covid19 which would close us down – please pray with us that we can continue in the same way until the shelter ends in March 2021.
As you may have seen on Facebook, we have heard some heart-breaking stories of the people we meet who have no hope, no future, with some talking about ending their life. It’s so sad in these days that there are people in this situation, it truly breaks our heart. It’s what spurs us on to do something about it. We only have ten rooms we can offer each night – please don’t blame the council, we work very well with them but sadly resources are limited in what they and we can do.
We also hear ‘good news’ stories. We took in a guest just a couple of days after opening in November. He rang us just before Christmas to say that he is now in supported accommodation and wanted to express his gratitude and thanks to all the volunteers at Sanctuary for showing him love and care. That’s the reason why we do what we do, thank you.
Christmas is the time when we receive many donations and gifts. On the Saturday’s leading up to Christmas we have a stand in the town centre where we raise awareness of the homeless in Gravesend and collect money. A big ‘thank you’ to Zoe, Lyn, Val, Geoff and John for helping out with the stand and rattling those collection tins. We raised a total of £797.35, with the Somerset Arms pub in town raising a further £79.80.
We also receive a large number of other gifts – unfortunately are just too many to mention them all here – we do try and post them on Facebook when we can. These include the staff, students and families of Northfleet Technical College for their wonderful donation shown here …
… and to the members of River Church Orpington for giving an amazing amount of food.