Men’s shelter forced to leave homeless on the streets

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SAFE Shelter, which provides shelter for homeless men in Canberra, has been forced to leave homeless people on the streets this year because of the coronavirus. 

The shelter made the announcement today (March 23), saying it will not open its doors on April 26, and may not open all winter.

Safe Shelter believes that encouraging homeless men to congregate in its shelters this winter would be contrary to the national COVID-19 strategy, which is to increase the levels of isolation in the population to reduce the rate of the spread of the virus. The shelter says it would also put the volunteers at risk. 

But, even though the shelter was forced to make this decision, they also raised concerns for ACT’s homeless, particularly if they exhibit possible symptoms of COVID-19, saying how do they contact health authorities, and how can the homeless self-isolate? 

Safe Shelter hopes to be in discussion with other ACT agencies about what can be done to alleviate these problems. 

Safe Shelter says it has also suspended any further induction courses for volunteers at this stage. 

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