Aquila Housing Association was established in 1984 by 7 students in Newcastle who saw the issues of poverty, deprivation and homelessness around them and wanted to do something about it! They raised enough money to open Durham Road House as a place for young homeless women to stay in safety and paid for a cleaner to visit the project a few hours a week. From humble beginnings, this grew into the organisation we now know today.
Oasis was launched in 1985 by Steve Chalke, who had a vision to open a Hostel, a Hospital and a School to meet the needs of deprived communities. In its early years, Oasis worked alongside churches in outreach to different areas and then in 1990 was able to open its first project – a hostel for homeless young women. Oasis has grown in a different path, particularly after 2007 when Oasis Community Learning opened their first academy, but housing work has remained a core strand of Oasis’ vision for reaching into communities.
Having started with very similar projects, the two organisations have had strong links for a long time. By coming together as Oasis Aquila Housing, the expertise of Aquila is able to be combined with the reach of Oasis to form an organisation more able to meet the housing needs of local communities around the UK.