News

Safe Shelter for homeless men gets ready for Winter

Published on 03 March 2017

Safe Shelter is getting ready for winter and needs volunteers to run its overnight shelters. Safe

Shelter provides basic emergency shelter for homeless men in winter.

ACT shelters will operate in three donated inner-North church halls stafed by teams of trained

volunteers, male or female, aged over 18. Guests and volunteers sleep on the foor. For guests who

have been sleeping rough on the streets, just being warm and safe is luxury. For guests who have

recently become homeless, Safe Shelter provides somewhere safe while they try to sort out their

lives. For the volunteers, it is uncomfortable but rewarding.

From 2013 to 2016, Safe Shelter ACT operated from only one hall, at St Columba’s Uniting Church,

Braddon, for three nights per week. This winter, the St Columba’s shelter will be backed up by

additional shelters operating in the Salvation Army Canberra City Corps’ hall, also in Braddon, and

one of the halls at All Saints Anglican Church, Ainslie – a bit further along the No 7 ACTION bus route.

Safe Shelter Queanbeyan will be operating from the Uniting Church there, on a slightly diferent

model.

This will mean that in 2017, Safe Shelter will be operating in Canberra from Monday to Friday every

week from 24 April until 29 September. It hopes to expand to seven nights a week in Winter 2018.

Going from 3 nights per week in 2016 to 5 nights in 2017 means that Safe Shelter ACT will require lots

of additional volunteers. Six two-evening induction courses will run in March and April for potential

new volunteers to choose from, with further courses during Winter. Returning volunteers from 2016

attend the second evenings, partly as a refresher and partly to meet and reassure new volunteers.

ACT volunteers can then commit to spending one night per month, on nights selected by them,

helping to run one of the shelters as part of a roster of volunteers.

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