New Bush Telegraph Independent Stories since 1987

Shelter against the cold

August 1, 2018

Last year the Shoalhaven community got together to operate a homeless shelter through winter in the Wesley Centre in Nowra. This year through the Safe Shelter project it’s going one step further, opening a dedicated year around home in the old Neighbourhood Centre in Kinghorn Street.

“I feel really excited that we have managed to solve this.” Said Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley. “It’s not the complete solution for everybody. But it’s somewhere the current people can get relief from the weather, and it connects them with services, and that’s really important. It’s a really classic example of Council working really well with community, and the desire of the community to do something in that space. The State and Federal governments need to get on board too and be a bit more supportive.”

Last year saw different groups and individuals come from everywhere to find a place for homeless people to shelter, while they attempt to find something more permanent to live and get on with their lives.

16a Photo Caption The new dedicated homeless shelter in Nowra
The new dedicated homeless shelter in Nowra

“The need in the area already exceeds the 12 beds we have, so we are already looking to expand. If more people come we will organise something, either the Wesley hall, or work with another organisation,” said John Steel, who along with Lesley Lane runs the centre. Both positions are full time and voluntary. There are a further 250 volunteers on the books who work the overnight shifts. It’s quite an operation.

Major renovations were necessary; two bathrooms had to be put in, a laundry, and a kitchen, the work being enabled by a large donation received from a family in the community. The group has also secured 6 repurposed buses from Sydney to convert into accommodation  if the Council is able to rezone some land for the purpose.

Last minute jobs are still being completed, a big rush before the opening on 2nd July.

The Shoalhaven has long been a vulnerable area with unemployment levels amongst the highest in the country. With more and more government services being sold off, the least wealthy suffer the most as prices creep up, and the gap between rich and poor becomes greater.

Linsey Lane knows the situation well “For whatever reason, people become homeless. They lose their job and lose their home. Technically 75% of this community is just two pay cheques away from homelessness. You miss a couple of payments and someone takes your house.”

If you liked this article help us to plant trees in its honour. The New Bush Telegraph practices community journalism and plants a tree for every article published, although we hope to plant a whole lot more trees than just one. You can contribute as little as $5. 


This article is in the following category/ies:

Also See:

  • Categories

  • Archives

    Join us

    For only $20 (per annum, $10 concession) you can become a member of The New Bush Telegraph Incorporated. Membership to an incorporated association shows your support and gives you voting rights at annual general meetings, access to volunteer opportunities and special member events.

    Subscribe to our newsletter
    Keep up to date with all the news from The New Bush Telegraph and be notified of new articles when they are published. It’s the best way to stay in touch and never miss out on those important local issues. You can unsubscribe at any time.
    * indicates required

    Donate to the New Bush Telegraph

    The New Bush Telegraph is a not-for-profit community initiative.

    Support us to grow and reach our goals by considering making a donation.



    #125 Spring 2019#120 Winter 2018#109 Spring 2015#108 Winter 2015#107 Autumn 2015#106 Winter 2010#105 Late Spring 2009#104 Winter 2009#103 Autumn 2009#102 Summer 2008#101 Winter / Spring 2008#100 Late Autumn 2008#99 Late Summer  2008#98 Summer 2007#97 Spring 2007#96 Winter 2007#95 Autumn 2007
    New Bush Telegraph - Independent Publishing Since 1987
    Privacy PolicyTerms & Conditions
    Copyright © New Bush Telegraph Incorporated ABN: 42106732072
    linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram