THE community group St Albans Action for Homeless has announced that two new members are joining its board of directors. Coming from local retail and hospitality businesses, they bring knowledge, connections and a passion for uniting the community to support homeless people in the best way possible.
St Albans Action for Homeless is a not-for-profit organisation that makes a measurable difference and improves the lives of those living on the streets of St Albans. Through their work, they guide homeless people to the amenities available, help them get the support they need to beat addiction, to find shelter with continued support when permanently housed.
Launched as a Facebook group in 2019, their community has grown to include over 2.6k members who actively donate food and clean clothes, support fundraising initiatives and lend a hand collecting and distributing items.
The two new members include:
Jez Levy, founder of opticians EYES on St Albans and a member of the St Albans Postboxes team that raises funds for our local foodbank and Open Door, said:
“Having grown up in St Albans for the last 45 years, I am truly thrilled to be asked to be a part of the SAAFH team. My belief is that it is a given right for all of our community to have food, water and a roof over our heads, irrespective of individuals’ specific circumstances. I am looking forward to the exciting initiatives we have in the pipeline with our collaboration with Druglink, in addition to our continuing efforts with our homeless friends.”
Jamie West, the landlord of the Hare and Hounds and Rose and Crown pubs and has been providing meals for those living on the streets since the beginning of the pandemic, said:
“I am a St Albans boy born and bred, and I have been running pubs in the city for the last 8 years. But it’s only been in the last couple of years I’ve come to understand the issues surrounding homelessness in the area and the wonderful work that people do. It’s only since the pandemic started that I found myself in a position to try and help directly – and as I continue to learn more, I am absolutely delighted to get more involved and become part of the SAAFH team. I am very much looking forward to working more closely with the incredible people I have come to know in the last year.”
They join the existing board, which includes Lynn Dutton (Founder), Liz Needham (Director) and Mandy McNeill (Chair).
Lynn Dutton is delighted and welcomes their appointment, saying:
“Jamie and Jez share our vision to help our homeless friends on the street and to help end homelessness. They have extensive connections that will help us grow our community and achieve our fundraising targets. They are also passionate about promoting a positive message to help reduce discrimination and end the judgement associated with homelessness.”
This year the organisation aims to raise £25k so they can continue their essential work and launch a shelter of their own, Lynn continues:
“We work closely with local organisations and groups so that we can help people access local support and services, but our mission is to set up our own homeless shelter so we can provide care for the vulnerable in a safe and supportive environment.”
Show your support – donate today via their website: www.ActionForHomeless.co.uk and follow them on social media @StAlbansActionForHomeless.