50 years – Our Golden Jubilee
Back in the summer of 1972 we saw the launch of the first digital watch, Atari set the video-game world in motion with Pong and the VW Beetle became the most popular car ever sold, with more than 15m sales since launch.
That summer also saw the very first service users take shelter in St James Church Hall, (St Nicholas Church, in Bernard Street, Southampton), in what became the very start of our endeavour to end Homelessness.
Since then we have increased the amount of housing for people affected by homelessness, improved support for people with complex issues such as substance misuse, as well as providing mental health support as a psychologically informed charity.
The society supports vulnerable people in overcoming challenges in their lives that prevent them from leading a fulfilling and rewarding life. We believe that having a safe place to call home is a fundamental human right and without this everything is a challenge.
Dennis Jones, who works in fundraising for SSJ says: “This is a time to tell the stories from 50-years of supporting people affected by homelessness. We want to hear from anybody who has worked with or been supported by SSJ.
We know there are many stories to tell and we want to celebrate the work done by our incredible staff and the journeys undertaken by people who have quite literally changed their lives. We want to share experiences from the past and present as we head into the future with our eyes fully on ending homelessness once and for all.“
We are fast approaching our 50th anniversary, at a time where digital watches can handle phone calls and millions of people now play video games for a living – yet homelessness has continued to affect people on every continent on earth. The world may have changed since 1972, but our goals haven’t.
We started out with 12-men in a hostel and now help thousands of people affected by homelessness each year. Our projects, such as Café in the Park and Jamie’s Computers have given service users the chance to step into employment – which gives much needed self-belief and hope, often leading to long-term employment elsewhere.
We wouldn’t be here without the support of the thousands of people across Hampshire who have donated, volunteered and been there by our side since day one, helping us spread the message of our work far and wide – together we have transformed countless lives.
The Golden Jubilee
As part of our build-up to our 50th anniversary next year, we will be publishing 50 stories from the Society of St James, from service users and supporters to staff – telling the stories you don’t usually hear and helping share the positive messages that we see every day – life-changing moments captured by people who have been here helping us tackle the ever-present problem of homelessness.
We welcome you in helping us celebrate our 50th anniversary. We will have more information on our plans over the coming months.
Want to support us during our Golden Jubilee year? Email: Dennis.Jones@SSJ.org.uk