Winter Shelters

Winter Shelter Model

  • Use church buildings to provide food and shelter to people experiencing homelessness.
  • Seven churches each take one night of the week to be a venue for the Shelter. All operate with the same policies and procedures (this consistency is very important).
  • Volunteers from local churches and community come together to staff the Shelter, working at any venue, according to their availability (this allows numerically small churches to partner in the project).
  • Each partner church identifies a Venue Coordinator. They are responsible for the Shelter when it is operating at their church. Shift Leaders should also ideally be from the host church.
  • The project is managed by a Steering Group made up of the Project Coordinator, a Volunteer Coordinator, Venue Coordinators and a Secretary. Additional members could be a Deputy Coordinator, Prayer Coordinator, Media and Communications Assistant.
  • Each church provides the food and cooks for the evening meal and items for a self-serve breakfast. They may also provide items for ‘supper’ instead of dessert.
  • A trailer or van is used to house other equipment and bedding which is moved each day between venues (stretcher beds, games, notice board, toiletries, towels, bedding, extra heater etc)

The Winter Shelter Network

Stable One has identified, researched and developed resources to support a model that allows the Church to offer hospitality and make a practical difference during the coldest time of year to people experiencing homelessness – Winter Shelters. We encourage projects to be autonomous as they look to meet local needs. but also believe there is significant benefit in being connected for continual improvement and the development of best practice.

As a network affiliate you will receive personalised assistance and be equipped to start and run a shelter, including:

  • Toolkit containing a comprehensive project description along with detailed operational policies and procedures, sample forms, role descriptions and a volunteer handbook
  • Project Coordinator training, support and consultancy
  • Online Network meetings
  • Annual conference to share learnings, collaborate and develop best practice.

“The Toolkit and evaluation documents are invaluable ...It was not really until I volunteered to be the Project Coordinator (some weeks later) that I really understood the level of work you had done to pull all of this together.”

Contact us for more information.

Click the sound bar below to listen to ABC Southern Queensland's interview with a guest of the Toowoomba Winter Shelter.

Start a Shelter

“Participating in Stable One has provided members of our church yet another avenue to demonstrate the love of Jesus towards people in our community. One aspect of this ministry that I admire is that we are able to serve in unison, focusing on Kingdom goals, through a wide variety of people expressing an equally diverse number of skills. We want our Stable One guests to be shown care and compassion during the challenging winter months – all without regard to waving a denominational flag.”

Michael Drennan, Pastor, Mooroolbark Baptist Church

To enquire about how to start a Winter Shelter in your area, access our Toolkit and become a network affiliate, contact us.

Find a Shelter

Interested in volunteering or staying as a guest? Find your local shelter here.