Safe Shelter ACT
Volunteer with Safe Shelter
Safe Shelter receives no government funding and relies on the support of volunteers to provide safe, warm, emergency overnight accommodation. 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 secure while they try to sort out their lives. For the volunteers, it is a small sacrifice in comfort, but a rewarding experience.
Volunteers spend the first few hours of the night playing the role of host - welcoming guests, settling them in to the Shelter, offering refreshments. Several volunteers then spend the rest of the night sleeping in the hall with the guests. Though there are opportunities for people to volunteer during the evening without sleeping over, the Shelters cannot stay open without several volunteers who can spend the whole night at the Shelter.
As Safe Shelter is not a professional support service and does not provide targeted interventions or ongoing assistance, volunteers are not required to have experience, training, or qualifications in providing interpersonal support or specialised homelessness services. To be a volunteer with Safe Shelter, you just need to be be someone who is willing to work with others in providing a safe, friendly, welcoming atmosphere for guests. Volunteers must be over 18 and can be any sex or gender.
Becoming a Safe Shelter volunteer involves attending a two-night induction course, being able to commit to volunteering one night a month, and registering for or possessing a current working with vulnerable people registration (if you are applying for a WWVP registration solely for volunteering, the application fee is waived by Access Canberra).
Anyone interested in volunteering with Safe Shelter is encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more information and upcoming induction course dates. Courses are held in the lead up to, and during, the yearly Safe Shelter opening period.