Marylebone Project

Supporting Homeless Women in London

October 2023

Homelessness Sunday is on 8 October this year and people are encouraged to raise awareness and campaign against homelessness and the shortage of affordable housing across the UK. At the Marylebone Project in London, it is our mission to provide vulnerable homeless women with a safe haven and a comprehensive range of vital support services. From shelter and pastoral care to education and healthcare, every step is taken in a trauma-informed manner, allowing each woman to feel wanted, safe and valued. The Sanctuary, open 24/7, 365 days a year, is at the heart of our project. Alarmingly, we have witnessed a troubling surge in the number of women seeking refuge. Visits to The Sanctuary soared from 875 in May to a staggering 1,502 in July. Now, more than ever, your support is crucial in helping these women facing crisis and trauma.


We are overjoyed to announce that the Marylebone Project has been awarded the prestigious Homeless Link Award for Excellence in Supported Housing. This award recognises the outstanding and impactful work done in the homelessness sector. Out of 127 entries, the Marylebone Project came out on top, impressing the panel of independent, expert judges with its exceptional person-centred and trauma-informed approaches to support.

The project stood out for its commitment to providing a safe and inclusive space exclusively for women, as well as its high-quality modern accommodation and strong values. This remarkable achievement is testament to the unwavering dedication and hard work of our staff and volunteers.

We are incredibly proud to be recognised as leaders in the field, and we will continue our efforts to make a positive difference in the lives of vulnerable women.

Transformed Lives at the Marylebone Project: Valentina’s Story

Valentina’s world was shattered when she found herself estranged from her daughter and escaped from an abusive relationship. Overwhelmed by despair and isolation, she found solace at the Marylebone Project. Thanks to the incredible support and care she received, Valentina’s life has undergone a remarkable transformation.

“Everything was so stressful at the time, especially losing my daughter from my care after dealing with the domestic violence case. And I just felt, at the time, that a lot of people were against me. One person who really had my back was Semhar (Sanctuary Centre Team Leader) because she was the only person who believed in me. I was really depressed, and I was really down and was not myself. Semhar really supported me, which was inspiring, because you don’t meet a lot of people who will do so much for you. Semhar really stood up for me in court when I was trying to get my daughter back, Semhar really went out of her way to help me and I got her back! On top of that, I’ve just graduated this year. By the end of September, I should receive my pin so I can officially be a registered nurse. I believe that Semhar definitely played a really big role in my life, and I’m really thankful. If I had one piece of advice for the women starting thir journey here, it’s that they are patient enough to work with their key workers. All the women here, they all need support. It is my ambition to be able to come back and work here maybe volunteering in the future, so that I can help other women who are going through what I went through. I want to show them that there is hope, you can change your life around with the help here.”


CA CEO, Peter Rouch, is participating in a powerful campaign against homelessness! On November 20th, he and other CEO’s will be sleeping out at Lord’s Cricket Ground, raising funds and spreading awareness about this pressing issue.

“Church Army’s Marylebone Project offers a home — not a permanent or final home, but a place of security where we offer wrap-around support to help women in crisis address complex needs ad be empowered to end their homelessness and live full, independent lives. By sponsoring my CEO Slpeepout, you can help raise critical funds for the Marylebone Project to continue its life-saving work. Your sponsorship will also send a message of support to the network of London CEO’s participating. Your support for the CEO Sleepout is a powerful statement of determination not to let homelessness become a life sentence.

– Peter Rouch, CEO Church Army

Find out more and sponsor Peter here

Meet Miriam

“I began working at the Marylebone Project in April this year. I am making good progress, but there is still a lot to learn. For the last 10 years, I worked in a church context specialising in homelessness, managing night shelters and projects for homeless people from lots of very complicated and delicate contexts. I am very passionate about helping those most vulnerable, and I wanted a position where I could make an impact while retaining a Christian ethos, so the role at the Marylebone Project felt like such a calling for me. It is something that my family and I have prayed over, and it is my calling.

I really love the fact that I can use the professional skills I have developed over the years in the homeless sector but also be very intentional with the holistic support we offer to women as a whole person. That is something that the Marylebone Project does so well. We specialise in women’s needs in all areas of their lives, and that is special. We enable women to feel loved and cared for in a professional capacity, but we also have space for spirituality and allow people to be open in their conversations.

It is a really challenging environment to work in, and, at times, I have felt angry at the trauma a lot of our women are facing. However, anger can be a really healthy emotion that God has given us, and we can use that to propel us forward to fight against these injustices and offer help to actively change lives. I have never come across such an incredible community of people who want to help our women. This makes us stronger, and, together, we can do a lot to repair hurt that others have caused.

I love the project, and I am passionate about supporting the staff here, who do incredible work. It is the only project I am aware of where women can actually get the full cycle of help. Someone can come to The Sanctuary if they’re in crisis or fleeing domestic abuse, and they can get everything they need to recover. The project supports women throughout the journey to independent living and beyond. Even when they reach resettlement, we still support them, connecting them with the local community and networks of support. A woman could be here for one night or she could be here up to five years, but we help her through it all and are with her every step of the way.”

Along with the day-to-day running of the project, Miriam is involved with managing staff. Providing adequate support in such a challenging environment is key, and it is wonderful to know that staff and volunteers feel encouraged by Miriam….

“Miriam’s kindness and compassion shine brightly in her role as manager. Her genuine care for the wellbeing of her team members creates a supportive and uplifting work environment.”

Semhar Rota, (Sanctuary) Centre Team Leader

“Miriam is an amazing manager. She brings a wealth of experience and passion to the Project. She makes the Marylebone Project a better service and a better place to work.”

Sidney Montague, EET (Employability, Education and Training) Worker