Our Vision & Beliefs

Joel's main vision is to transform the lives of vulnerable and needy people facing homelessness in the Kingston Borough, by providing safe sanctuary and tailored support within a loving community. To achieve our mission, we have built a permanent 17-bed night shelter offering a bed for the night, wholesome, home-cooked meals around a shared table, laundry facilities and one-to-one support from expert staff. What sets Joel apart is that our guests are part of a caring community; we believe that this is critically important in breaking the cycle of homelessness and isolation.

We also believe that every person is shaped and formed in the image of God and therefore deserves dignity and respect. Our guests themselves show tremendous courage in the face of extremely tough circumstances and work with us patiently and purposefully to overcome the odds. As a result the Joel community is flourishing community that helps transform lives every week, thanks in no small part to the tireless efforts of our amazing team of staff and volunteers!

The Challenges

Kingston upon Thames is seen as a very affluent area, however there are pockets of extreme deprivation. The Cambridge Estate, a stone’s throw away from the Joel Centre, has been ranked in the top 20% of the most deprived areas in the country. There are many people right on our doorstep facing extreme hardship, particularly single people. According to the national census 28% of our population are single, yet the whole of our housing establishment in the UK is biased against them. Mortgages and lettings are far too expensive for the vast majority of single people (especially for those on lower incomes) and are only manageable by families or partnerships with more than one income.

For many single people, the prospect of obtaining and maintaining a home in the present climate is virtually impossible, especially in the Kingston Borough where average house price is more than double the average for England and Wales and the same goes for the average rent. Throw in the loss of a job or relationship and it is no surprise that the pressures and burdens often multiply to the point of breakdown, isolation and ultimately homelessness.

The Joel Night Shelter can help catch those who are falling through the net, and provide a welcome respite from the isolation that can exacerbate mental health and addiction problems. However, the options for moving on to a place of safety, sanctuary and hope is very limited. People often end up in isolated hostel spaces without the normal daily routines and disciplines of life and are charged inflated prices for the privilege. Starting from such an inflated level makes getting back into work and ‘normal life’ both debilitating and prohibitive.

The Way Forward!

We believe that purpose-designed, community-focused housing could help us tackle a myriad of problems in society caused by vulnerable people living in isolation. It would also save this country a huge amount of expense, rather than the current trend of developing expensive, individual, isolated dwellings. At the same time, it would put those who find themselves homeless back into a normal routine and an environment that would enhance and inspire their daily living. It is our hope that Joel can point the way towards a kinder, more equitable way of life, free of the scourge of isolation and homelessness.

This website was manually updated on

16th February 2017