Safe Shelter for homeless men expands for Winter 2018

Published on 01 March 2018

Safe Shelter ACT is getting ready for Winter 2018, when it will be operating 7 nights each week, so it needs more volunteers to run its overnight shelters. Safe Shelter provides basic emergency shelter for homeless men in winter – no meals, just hot drinks and somewhere safe to sleep out of the cold.

For guests who have previously been sleeping rough on the streets, 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 who run the shelters, it is uncomfortable but rewarding.

One shelter will operate each night, from 22 April to 29 September, using three donated inner-North church halls. Shelters are stafed by teams of trained volunteers, male or female, aged over 18. Like the guests, the volunteers sleep on the foor in sleeping bags or swags.

Sunday and Monday nights will be at All Saints Anglican Church, Cowper St, Ainslie. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights will be at St Columba’s Uniting Church, Fawkner St, Braddon, and Friday and Saturday nights will be at the Salvation Army’s Canberra City Corps, Elouera St, Braddon. All are within walking distance of Civic and all are on the No 7 ACTION bus route. The three ACT shelters will operate from 7.00 pm to 7.00 am.

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

Going from 5 nights per week in 2017 to every night in Winter 2018 means that Safe Shelter ACT will require lots of volunteers, both new and those returning from 2017. New volunteers will be asked to atend one of the two-evening inducton courses in March and April, or later in the year if needed. Returning volunteers from 2017 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 any of the shelters as part of a roster of volunteers.

For details about volunteering with Safe Shelter ACT, e-mail

For details about volunteering with Safe Shelter Queanbeyan, e-mail