26 March 2013

Churches to shelter the homeless

| Barcham
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After a two year struggle, Churches in the ACT have finally won the rights to let homeless people sleep in their empty halls overnight. This is a victory for common sense. Laws are supposed to protect people, not prevent them from helping each other. The project will start in May.

Ms Griffiths says the project is starting small and the hall will only be open on Wednesday nights.

“We’re able to take up to 8 to 10 guests at the one hall on the one night of the week,” Ms Griffiths said.

“Ideally we’ll be opening up with other churches this winter and if not, then for next year.

“So certainly this is a pilot project in the sense that we’re looking to get lessons, learn from the experience, improve things as we go along, to better meet the client’s needs.”

Organisers hope to get government approval before the freezing overnight temperatures start.

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Madam Cholet12:16 pm 26 Mar 13

And I hear that Wednesdays are always the coldest days of the week.

Ah, Canberra, where it’s considered safer to sleep under the bridge than in a hall with appropriate fire safety mechanisms for daytime and evening use, but not overnight use. Oh, and the nonexistent shower facilities (because there are so many shower facilities in the street). And what if the volunteers are old. And wah wah wah.

Thank God we’re finally making progress on this one, it was getting ridiculous a year ago. A highlight was when the group got rejected (again) on the day of the Anti Poverty Week launch last year… nice. Anyway, at least it’s moving now.

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