Where to get support
for those who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or similarly vulnerable
Please note that this is only a guide to some of the specialist support services in the ACT from when Safe Shelter was open. The guide may be outdated or incomplete. Further information on support services can be found by contacting OneLink.
In an emergency, consider seeking support from Emergency Services on 000 or ACT Police on 131 444.
The Early Morning Centre (morning meal & support service)
The Early Morning Centre's mission is to address issues faced by people who are experiencing homelessness, at risk of experiencing homelessness, or experiencing social isolation.
The Early Morning Centre provides a free breakfast, 7:30am - 8:30am Monday to Friday (closed public holidays amd weekends).
Their Community Hub is open 9:00am - 2:00pm on weekdays (closed public holidays), and 9:00am - 1:00pm on weekends. During this time, they offer help with access and referrals to professional support services, showers, laundry, storage lockers, hot drinks, PO Box mail collection, office facilities (desks, computers, internet), liasion with local pharmacy, emergency food parcels, and host a range of visiting services (such as healthcare services and social activities). They also have a list of other services that provide help, such as food pantries and information services.
Visit their website, visit at 69 Northbourne Avenue Canberra City, or call 02 6247 5041 for more info.
OneLink (homelessness service referrals & information)
OneLink provide the ACT Homelessness Services Coordinated Intake, and information or referral pathways to other community services in the ACT. Available Monday to Friday, 8am - 6pm.
Visit their website, visit their shopfront at Nature Conservation House, Corner Emu Bank & Benjamin Way, Belconnen, or call 1800 176 468 for self-referral, agency referrals or more info.
Red Cross Roadhouse Services (afternoon meal, Saturday - Thursday)
Red Cross Roadhouse Services delivers a free hot meal and information service from Room I in the Griffin Centre. Red Cross operates the information service 6 nights per week providing information on housing and employment and referral to other support services. On Friday afternoons, an evening meal service is provided by Stasia's Soup Kitchen in Garema Place (see below), not in the Griffin Centre.
Meal service 3.00 - 5:45 pm Monday and Wednesday; 4:30 - 5.45 pm Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Visit their website, visit Meeting Room 1, Ground Floor Griffin Centre, 20 Genge Street Canberra City, or call 02 6287 4311 for service times, meal providers and locations, and more info.
Ainslie Lodge (emergency accommodation; formerly the Winter Lodge)
Opened in 2020 as part of the ACT Government's COVID-19 response, Argyle House run the Ainslie Lodge, which provides emergency accommodation to men overnight, for up to 7 nights. They require emailed referrals to be processed during business hours (9:00am - 5:00pm) and do not accept walk-ins. As of November 2021, they are open throuighout the whole year.
VolunteeringACT Info Guides
VolunteeringACT's Community Info Hub's information guides contain essential details for free and affordablw community connections (such as emergency releif, free meals guide, food co-op/pantry programs, information on op shops, New to Canberra guide, disability transport guide, student services, complaint resolution services, ACT legal services, how to search the ACT community directories, etc.)
Visit their website, visit the Community Info Hub at the Griffin Centre, 20 Genge Street Canberra City, or call 02 6248 7988 for more info.
Women's Refuge Services (ACT)
The ACT Community Services website provides information on services in the ACT and Queanbeyan region that support women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including services for women escaping domestic violence, services for women with or without children or babies, single women, and families. Additionally, MacKillop House provides accommodations for up to 20 women and six women with children.
Services require referrals through OneLink. Visit their website or call 1800 176 468.
Women's Refuge Services (Queanbeyan)
Gunyah Women's Housing (NSW) - provides supported medium to long term accommodation for women with children facing homelessness. Phone: 02 6297 5827
Louisa Women's Centre (Queanbeyan) - provides short term accommodation for women with children escaping domestic violence. Phone: 02 6299 4799
Lourdes Home Missionaries of Charity (NSW) - provides short term accommodation for women with or without children, (cannot accommodate boys older than 7 yrs). Phone: 02 6297 1296
Safe Shelter Queanbeyan
Safe Shelter Queanbeyan operates under a slightly different model to Safe Shelter ACT. With St Benedict's Community Day Centre coordinating referrals and ongoing support, shelter can be offered to adult guests regardless of sex or gender on opening nights.
Orange Sky Laundry
The Orange Sky Laundry's Canberra mobile laundry and shower van (AKA 'Frosty') travels around Canberra and Queanbeyan to provide their utilities to those who might otherwise go without. There are over 33 services nationwide.
Visit their website for more info and locations.
Take One, Leave One: The Winter Coat Project
Take One, Leave One collect coats and warm winter clothing, and set up racks throughout Canberra for people to take any clothing they need or to leave any clothing that could find a new home.
Visit their Facebook page for more info and locations.
Argyle Housing (community housing)
Argye Housing is a community housing provider. They also provide assistance with navigating the social and affordable housing systems.
Visit their website, visit them at 23 Quick Street Campbell, or call on 1300 274 953 for more info.
St. John's Care (emergency relief)
St John's Care in Reid provide emergency relief, including providing food, fresh fruit and vegetables, clothing, prescription filling, bus fares, and blankets. They also have a Community Worker, offer Community lunches, and a variety of other community support services.
Visit their website, visit at 45 Constitution Avenue Reid, or call 02 6248 7771 for more info.
St. Vincent de Paul Society (crisis care)
St Vincent de Paul operate Samaritan House, a provider of crisis accommodation for single men in the ACT, and Street to Home, who operate an assertive outreach support service for people sleeping rough in the ACT. Visit their housing programs website for more info.
St Vincent de Paul also operate the Blue Door drop-in centre in Ainslie Village and the Night Patrol mobile outreach refreshments and friendly faces programs. Visit their food programs website for more info.
CatholicCare (crisis care)
CatholicCare operate the Sobering Up Shelter at Ainslie Village, 11pm - 11am (last admission by 6am) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The Sobering Up Shelter is a drop in service that provides overnight care, support and monitoring for people intoxicated by alcohol or other drugs. Visit their website, visit the Shelter during opening hours at Ground Floor M Block, Ainslie Village, Quick St, Campbell, or call 02 6163 3711 (during opening hours) or 02 6163 7600 (9am - 5pm Monday - Friday) for more information.
CatholicCare also operate MINOSA House, a supported accommodation program for single men aged over 18 years, not accompanied by children, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Visit their website or call 02 6163 7600 for more info.
St Benedict's Community Centre Queanbeyan (support service)
St. Benedict’s provides assistance in finding appropriate housing, provides meals, support, as well as emotional, physical, and spiritual security for guests. They provide crisis support, accommodation assistance, advocacy and practical support, meals, tea and coffee, showers and laundry facilities, and food parcels to people in the Queanbeyan Region.
Visit their website, visit 284 Crawford Street Queanbeyan, or call 02 6297 5331 for more info.
The Youth Emergency Accommodation Network, the Canberra Youth Residential Service, and The Junction are just some of the services in the ACT that provide support to youth experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness, or can provide information, advice and referral pathways to other services that provide youth-specific support.
ACT Health provides a number of hospital and health centre services in the Canberra Region.
Access Mental Health (previously the Crisis Assessment and Triage Team, or CATT) provides acute mental health support. Call on 1800 629 354 or 02 6205 1065, or in an emergency call 000 or attend the nearest Emergency Department.