WINTER NIGHT SHELTERS
Australia has a housing and homelessness crisis. A lack of safe, secure and affordable housing is one factor resulting in 116,000 being homeless on any given night, and 275,000 people seeking assistance in the last year. As winter approaches there are thousands of people sleeping rough on the streets, living in their cars or other temporary shelters. The situation is worsening, and effects all communities, including our regional centres and the outer urban fringes.
The reality is that many people on low incomes have virtually no housing options. Services they approach will most likely turn them away, a few may be offered a night in a motel at best over the winter if there are extreme circumstances.
A local response to this crisis has been the setting up of temporary shelters over the winter period, making use of mostly underutilised, church buildings, manned by trained volunteers. We recognise that these shelters are providing a much needed temporary, local, crisis service and are also helping guests to link to local organisations who can assist with longer term impacts. We would rather these shelters were not needed, but they are.
That’s why this month we are raising funds for the operating costs of three Winter Night Shelters in the Yarra Ranges, Sunbury and Bendigo, all in Victoria.