The Lieutenant-Governor is to conduct the official opening of a new facility in St Helier, providing a valuable addition to the accommodation available for Islanders who have been affected by homelessness.
Evans House, formerly Roseneath, closed in December 2011, but was subsequently acquired by the Health and Social Services Department (HSSD) and is being run in collaboration with the Shelter Trust.
The property has been substantially refurbished at a cost of £250,000 and opened its doors just before Christmas 2013. It has been renamed Evans House as a tribute to the late Winifred Evans, whose generous bequest provided a significant proportion of the funding for the project.
Now the new facility is to be officially opened by General Sir John McColl; the Lieutenant-Governor is a patron of the Shelter Trust and has taken a close interest in the challenges faced by homeless people since his arrival in Jersey.
A total of 22 newly refurbished rooms are available at Evans House, which is staffed 24/7 and also includes communal lounge, dining and laundry areas. The first residents moved in from the emergency accommodation they previously occupied at Aztec House, and the facility is now moving towards full occupancy.
Chairman of the Shelter Trust, Nick Gorrod, said “The opening of the new service has allowed us to secure single-room occupancy for homeless people, which is a long-term goal of the Trust.
“We are indebted to all those who have supported the project, particularly Winifred Evans and the Jersey Homeless Outreach Group, who provided much of the resource to furnish the sleeping rooms.”
The addition of Evans House completes the reconfiguration of homelessness services provided by the Shelter Trust. There is now a range of accommodation for homeless people and socially excluded adults, accessible at any point depending on individual needs. This comprises: the emergency accommodation at Aztec House; a dedicated service for young adults aged 16-25 at Strathmore – another collaboration with HSSD; and provision for mature adults aged over 25 at Midvale Road and Evans House.