SHELTERS – do they make a difference?

In this age of insecurity, if you found yourself suddenly homeless and perhaps penniless – what would you do?

Logically you probably would head for a homeless shelter because shelters operate to assist the needy with a bed and food. BUT, what happens next….same problem next day and the next and the next. Before you know it, your self esteem is heading for rock bottom. Couch surfing (the most dominant form of homelessness) at a mates place is the most common approach as the next step. Unfortunately, some friends seem to shun you in your darkest hour and therefore homeless people become too embarrassed to ask friends for help.

The next traumatic step is asking the government for an emergency handout…This is generally a very short lived direction to take and begs the question, is there a long term solution to this problem?


Thankfully, yes. Sheltered by Grace is really making a difference. SBG is a homeless shelter on Brisbane’s Southside and located at Waterford.

Sheltered by Grace focus on the individual, they do not close the door to a client once they feel, and the client feels they are ready to enter the private rental market sector due to the ongoing and extensive support system in place up to that point.

By extending an open door policy beyond a long term stay SBG shows the trust built by the client is truly warranted and secure. This is by far the biggest point of difference Sheltered by Grace has to other shelters.


Unlike SBG – other shelters are government funded and must operate under given guidelines as their funding is subject to those parameters.

Most other homeless shelters are not self sustaining models, not easily duplicated and used to be restricted to the industry standard of a 3 month placement only for a needy person, which unfortunately tended to be very much like a revolving door.

Sheltered by Grace is a non- profit organization and does not receive government funding. This is also why they rely on your continued support. Donate now.

Homeless shelters are becoming less prevalent today as funding is limited. Some are going into aged care support as there is greater funding available.


Sheltered by Grace believe their systematic approach to transformation is a sound method of self – sustainment and necessary to the individual wellbeing of each homeless person striving toward rebuilding their lives, as it provides long term results.

To provide such in-depth support is essential to effectiveness and for this same reason it is also costly. This is why your support is much sought after and very much appreciated.

The approach to rebuilding an individual’s self esteem and dignity allows the homeless citizen to seriously contemplate the possibility of rejoining the workplace as a valued member of the community. This is the ultimate goal of a truly noble and worthy homeless shelter.


One of the problems faced by homeless persons is the lack of ability to support themselves in everyday survival: things like getting a shower, clean clothes, getting to interviews or doctors, a roof over one’s head, nutritional and sustaining food in our belly, human company- so we are not alone.

These are things most of us take for granted.

This is where proper guidance can support and assist tremendously.

All shelters do provide food, showers and a bed, most shelters also provide some clean clothes, sadly only a very few provide the rest, hence the revolving door problem.

Thankfully you can get full case management support (someone walking beside you through your turmoil, getting you to medical help, anticipating your next step) someone to help you grow emotionally, standing up with you for your rights, liaising with Centrelink on your behalf, getting you to an interview, just have a cup of coffee with you and a chat.

This is what our homeless need in order to get back on their feet properly and permanently.  This should be the norm not the exception, would you agree?


Our homeless can overall be categorized into 3 areas.

Those down on their luck. When someone is living on their financial edge. This can happen due to a chain of unanticipated events that befall them. This group is resilient and can generally bounce back.

Some always need help. This group, due to the hardships faced and inability to sustain health issues facing them (homeless people take much longer to get over health issues due to their perplexities) – they will need reminders to take medication and a follow up service is required.

Some know how to play the system.  We have all heard the expression “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.” So true.

The reality is that you just cannot help everyone who is homeless. There are so many deserving of our help, yet like all areas of our society, there are also some determined to play the system, milk it and not give back.

The government needs to find an alternative method of approach to eliminate the misuse of funds to those who will not co-operate for their own good.


Remarkable people have been homeless. Take note.

Halle Berry     Actress

Hilary Swank  Actress

Chris Gardner movie script “Pursuit of Happiness” now stockbroker

Shania Twain   Singer

Colonel Sanders “Kentucky Fried Chicken” founder.

Charlie Chaplin   Comedy Actor

Benjamin Franklin    American President

Jesus Christ    Universal Mentor we should all strive to emulate.

Matthew 8:19-20  “The son of man has no place to lay his head”

Impressive list, isn’t it?

The stigma associated with being homeless is not warranted but the help needed for our fellow man who is homeless is most warranted, especially for Sheltered By Grace homeless shelter.

About the Author Lisa Loakes