Joel Community Services Public Statement

December 18th, 2019

Dear Friends and Supporters,                                                                                                                         

We have some important news to share with you about the Joel Community Night Shelter.

Thanks to our dedicated network of supporters, volunteers and staff we have been able to offer an essential service to people experiencing homelessness in the Kingston area for the past six years. However, it has recently come to light that our organisation is facing some exceptionally difficult challenges. As a consequence, and after careful consideration of our position, we have made a number of difficult decisions, including consulting some staff on redundancy.

As usual, we shall be shutting the shelter over the festive season, when our guests transition to ‘Crisis at Christmas’ in London. After that, we will not be accepting guests into the shelter again until Easter. KCAH (Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness), our closest partner, is actively working with us on housing solutions for existing guests in the shelter and we will be keeping the Joel Community flat open throughout this period for the three guests who are currently living there.

We acknowledge that, as an organisation, we were too slow to spot the warning signs that Joel was in distress and are very sorry to all our supporters for that. Our newly-appointed Executive Director quickly assessed the organisation, and helped the board to understand areas of weakness which led to us facing uncomfortable realities. We have had to act quickly and decisively, which is why there was no time to consult with our supporters. But delaying action would have seen us close for good.


The board is united in desire and determination to keep a permanent night shelter presence in Kingston. During the first quarter of 2020, we will be working hard to put the right systems and controls in place to build a much more robust organisation, ready for the future. We are asking for your grace and understanding and continued involvement while we do that.

The Joel Community is an incredibly special place, thanks to our staff, volunteers and supporters, but also to the guests who come and stay here. Their stories of courage and determination in the face of extraordinary circumstances continue to inspire us every day. Jesus Christ set the great and ultimate example, in loving and prioritising the needs of the most marginalised people in our community. This is what motivates us in our pursuit to create a stronger, more sustainable, faith-filled organisation.

We appreciate your understanding and continued support during this time of transition and would love to hear from you if you have any questions. Please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing us at

The Joel Community Services Board of Directors

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© 2018 by  Sue Cole. Created with

Joel Community Services (formerly operating as Joel Community Trust  Charity no.253030), is now a company limited by guarantee Charity Number 1163741. Registered Company Number 9140549.