The Marylebone Project: Transforming the lives of homeless women in London
According to a recent report by the charity Homelessness Link, an estimated 320,000 people are homeless in the UK. This is a shocking statistic and one that Christians, as the hands and feet of Jesus, need to be finding ways to help. Church Army’s The Marylebone Project is one organisation doing just that. This key project of Church Army is based in the heart of London and works with some of the most vulnerable women in society – those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Through their 24/7 drop-in centre, The Sanctuary, and a range of other services, the Marylebone Project is helping to transform lives and end homelessness in London. Here’s a closer look at their work.
The Sanctuary – A Place of Safety for Women in Need
The Sanctuary is The Marylebone Project’s 24/7 drop-in centre for homeless and vulnerable women. Recently relaunched from a daytime drop-in service to being open every hour of every day, all year round, it provides much needed respite for women who are living on the streets, as well as access to essential services such as showers, laundry facilities, and hot meals. The Sanctuary also offers support and advice on a range of issues such as benefits, housing, and health. For many of the women who use The Sanctuary, it is their only place of safety and support.
Short-term and long-term stays
While there are many different causes of homelessness, one of the most prevalent is domestic abuse. In the United Kingdom alone, an estimated 66,000 women are homeless due to fleeing domestic violence. That’s why the Marylebone Project offers long and short-term beds to women who find themselves forced to live on the streets by their life circumstances. Last year alone Marylebone provided 38,072 nights of accommodation to women who found themselves without a place to sleep.
More than a place to sleep
The work that the Marylebone Project does is so important because it gives vulnerable women the chance to rebuild their lives. Too often, women who become homeless find themselves trapped in a cycle of poverty that is impossible to escape. They might not have any family or friends to turn to for help and they may not be able to access the resources they need to get back on their feet. For many, stepping through the doors of The Sanctuary at Marylebone is the first step to breaking that cycle.
Church Army is an organisation that works to bring faith in Jesus and practical action together to see broken lives transformed. The Marylebone Project is doing vital work in London by giving homeless and vulnerable women not only a place to stay and access to resources, but an opportunity to find friendship, community, to reclaim dignity and be empowered to work towards a better future for themselves.