Recently there has been, and still is to a certain extent, a concern about the future of The Shelter Project Hounslow for this coming season. The Steering Group of the whole project met this last week to make important decisions about this winter and the level of service, if any, that could be offered. This was also Margaret’s first meeting as a member of the Steering Group, coordinating fund raising in the future.
The good news is that the project will run this year, though for just three months from January to March instead of four. Although many of you will be disappointed about the reduced season this year, it was discussed long and hard and the different options were looked at with a view to planning for the future as well as just keeping it going this year. In the end the group opted for three months but with (funds permitting) the continued employment of a caseworker, rather than four months but with no caseworker. With the high rate of success last year of men being helped into permanent housing, training or accommodation this was felt to be an area of work that should not be lost.
The has been some very good news on the money front with grants of £17,000 plus donations from churches and individuals of a further £6,000 having been received or confirmed in the last 10 days. There is a realistic expectation of several more thousand from various events, indications and possible grants still to be confirmed. A revision of the budget based on some changes in expenditure has also been made, enabling the project to continue. To put it on a firm financial footing for the future more needs to be done and details of how you can all help will be announced soon.
On a personal note, Margaret thanks so many people for their messages of support and help, through prayer and practical offers. It was a great encouragement to receive text and email messages before the meeting.