Benjamin and Michael talked with us about their experience of Safe Night Space.
In late 2019 The Salvation Army Tasmania and Hobart City Mission partnered to pilot the Hobart Safe Night Space with the support of Hobart City Council and the State Government.
The Safe Night Space provides a welcoming, safe and inclusive place for people who are vulnerable, isolated and homeless in Hobart. For some, the Safe Night Space Program may, therefore, be the first step towards moving off the streets.
Having proven a success in Hobart and given the elevated risk that COVID-19 presents, particularly for those that are sleeping rough, the State Government recently confirmed funding of the program for the next six months.
With this additional support, the renamed Hobart “Safe Space” will be now open 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. A key aim of this expansion is the inclusion of services such as mental and medical health services, Housing Connect and Drug and Alcohol services. There is flexibility to add further services as needs become apparent.
For Ben and Michael, who have been experiencing homelessness in Hobart, the Safe Space is a place to feel comfortable and clean, and has had a huge effect on their mental health.
“I was sleeping in a tent, which just feels dirtier”, says Ben. “I can actually keep clean in this place”.
The relationships they build with staff and other people at Safe Space give them a boost and help them to start each day in a positive manner.
“Everybody helps everybody here”, says Michael. “People make each other coffees in the morning to get each other up. There’s a bit of tomfoolery, joking around, always making each other smile,”
“We just pull together to make each other happy. That way when we leave, we all have a good day, we stay out of trouble. No one judges anyone — it is the epitome of a safe place.”
Without you, and your generous donations, the Safe Space program would not have been able to launch.
We thank you for the love and support you have shown. Your care and kindness have given hope and safety to some of Hobart’s most vulnerable people.
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