Winter Night Shelter

1 June-31 August


The Winter Night Shelter offers a safe and supportive environment for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the Yarra Ranges. Stable One partners with local churches and congregations, equipping and empowering them to work together, utilising their buildings as venues and engaging their members as volunteers. The Church has a mandate to care for people, spiritually and physically. As well as fulfilling this mandate, this project helps to fill a critical need for crisis accommodation, offering refreshment and rest to those in need. At the same time, it provides opportunities to develop community and to journey with individuals towards a more stable future.

The 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.

  • 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.

  • Guests are assessed for suitability and sign an agreement before being invited to the Shelter.

  • 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 equipment and bedding which is moved each day between venues (stretcher beds, games, notice board, toiletries, towels, bedding, extra heater etc)


Watch the video below to hear from guests and volunteers and see the shelter in action