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We are excited to announce that we have finally been given approval by our local council, after a long 12 months, to complete the works at our new Highway Shelter! This means we can finish off the deck, install a concrete ramp, new drainage system and fencing. We hope that the occupancy certificate will not be too long winded and we hope to be in to our new shelter before Christmas – your prayers will be very welcome in this time 😉

What will this mean for the shelter, our guests, our volunteers and staff?

Our guests will now have more privacy with; more bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and open living/kitchen area and a seperate space for staff and volunteers. We will be able to accommodate 9 guests comfortably. We have new security systems installed, thanks to an IT and Systems grant we received from DCJ, so that all of our guests, volunteers and staff feel safe and secure including new IT and software programs to assist in the smooth running of our shelter.

What do we need from you and our local community?

We are currently completely unfunded, which means we are relying soley on donations. The hold up from council over the past 12 months meant that we had to get engineers reports, bushfire consultants, access consultant and architectural plans etc. which cost us over $15k and 12 months in loss of lodgings for a house that was sitting empty. We no longer have funding for our staff and have had to stop wages for our executive director so that we can keep our shelter coordinator position. We would like to reach out to our community for financial assistance. Whatever you can afford to regularly donate on a weekly, fortnightly, monthly basis – perhaps a direct debit set up which will go towards our operational costs; every dollar will really count!

A lot of the grants we apply for won’t cover operational costs – whilst it is great to have a new building, new IT and systems in place, new fencing etc. We will not be able to operate the shelter without staff on a continual basis. Our volunteers are wonderful and assist of a night time without pay. We need our qualified staff to operate the shelter during the day, support our guests and manage our volunteers. We will continue to apply for government funding and seek philanthropic organisations. Our financial statements can be found by visiting the ACNC website at any time so that you know exactly where your money is going and we are happy to discuss any question if you’d like to get in contact with us as we understand the importance of transparency and accountability. We just want to make sure everyone has a roof over their heads, a warm healthy meal and support and ensure that the shelter remains open.

We are overwhelmed at the huge support we have received so far from our local community. In the past few months we have had local businesses and organisations providing donations through local fundraising events such as the South Coast Beer Festival by our local Apex club, the Alter Wine Bar Milton Spooktacular charity event, Cupitts Estate ‘Hazy 8’ community keg, The Lions Club sausage sizzle at Bunnings, A local quadriplegic Cameron McMullen who swam 30kms in 30 days raising $10k, The Mollymook Longboarders club fundraising event, Mollymook Ladies Golf charity event, and our local Clubs continue to support us. Greenscape Constructions are coming together to finish off all of our building works - amazing effort!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the local businesses, organisations, people who continue to donate and raise funds and of course our amazing volunteers! We honestly cannot run this service without ALL of you. Without you, we would not exist. So, with a full heart, we say THANK YOU! Our guests thank you. We have had so many guests who have moved on to a safer and more fulfilling life thanks to us and to you!

We look forward to bringing you some good news when we open our new Highway Shelter, until then, enjoy the sunshine, spread the word for us and stay well!

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