Since the Church sold the Jones Safe House property 5 years ago, Bernie and Donovan, and the children and young women in their care, have faced uncertain times.
While the new owner very generously allowed them to stay in the house, they knew that at any time they could be asked to leave. Says Bernie, "It has been incredibly stressful, but we just had to carry on with our work while trying to find some kind of solution."
Recently however their landlord informed them that the property was going to be sold and that they now definitely needed to find alternate accommodation. Still Bernie and Donovan did not give up hope, nor their determination to find a way of securing the children's future. They were rewarded in the form of an incredibly generous private donation, which would cover half of what was needed to fulfil their dream. With the aid of an intensive fundraising drive, a home of their own was finally within reach.
One hurdle still remained - as an NGO with very little income; it was unlikely that they would receive a bond to cover the outstanding funds needed. "We just kept on fighting for a solution, because it was unthinkable that we would have to close our doors," says Bernie. And, as is so often the case with unshakable faith and resolve, they were once again rewarded when a private donor offered them an interest-free loan to cover the balance of the purchase price needed.
So, for the first time since the Jones Safe House opened its doors, in early 2014 the Jones and their extended "family" will be relocating to a home they can finally, and always, call their own. The house will require extensive renovations to make it suitable for their ever growing numbers, but with faith that moves mountains, Bernie and Donovan (and a motivated volunteer committee and fundraising team), will make it happen.
We will need assistance with almost everything, including funds to pay off bridge financing and to adapt the house to accommodate all the children and mothers.
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