Sanctuary 2019/20 in numbers …
The number of people we serve continues to break previous records. This is down to us opening far more than in previous years. In fact we are planning to run around 480 sessions this winter compared to an average of around 145 sessions in other years. Here are the numbers so far this winter:
- 76 guests registered, with 62 having slept at Sanctuary
- 1108 sleeps on the street prevented – our previous record was 712 – with 2 months to go!
- 16,500+ Volunteers hours given
Supporting this huge increase has not been without its challenges, but we are so grateful for our volunteers for making it possible.
As well as our volunteers, it’s been great to have the support of many local businesses.
Marie’s Tea Room
While in town last week, I popped into Marie’ Tea Room (23 High Street, Gravesend) for a hot drink and came across a sign promoting Sanctuary – see above photo. Customers are asked to donate a hot drink and/or a sandwich to provide a meal for the homeless we look after. Our host on the day – Tracy – was very welcoming and I can recommend the Courgette and Avocado cake!
Kufflink, based at 21 West St, Gravesend, are a peer-to-peer lender that offers great interest rates to savers. They have supported Sanctuary for a few months now and in February donated 50 sleeping pods so that our guests can stay warm and dry when sleeping on the streets.
The above photo shows when the Mayor and Mayoress of Gravesham met the Kuflinkm team and handed over the pods to Steve and Lorna Nolan, our the Sanctuary Project and Guest Managers. These Pods are tough with a foil and canvas structure that keeps heat in and rain out.
It’s very heart-warming to see how our local community works together to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Thank you!
The main reason why we do Sanctuary is to help the guests we support, get back to living a more normal life. Quite often all we hear about in relation to homelessness are the sad stories. So this month we’re pleased to bring you a ‘Good News’ story about Kim.
“My name is Kim and I became homeless when I was trying to get away from domestic violence. My ex-partner was arrested for beating me up and so Gravesend council put me up at a local hotel. However, I had become addicted to Spice and although I tried hard to break the habit nothing seemed to work…”