For the second year in a row, Eastland has partered with Urban Life Church to support the Winter Shelter program and provide assistance to those who are homeless and in need in the local community.
The Eastland Winter Shelter provides relief from the harsh winter weather for those sleeping rough by providing a safe, warm and welcoming space that disadvantaged members of the community can access each afternoon.
In a year like no other, the Winter Shelter project was forced to adapt to the changing conditions implemented as a result of COVID-19, while still providing much needed support to those doing it tough in the Maroondah community.
Currently in its second year, the space is provided in partnership with Urban Life and Winter Shelters in Maroondah, and includes couches, chairs, tables, lockers and appliances to make warm drinks. The facility is staffed by volunteers from the local community alongside those who have experienced homelessness first-hand.
Due to factors such as the impacts of COVID-19, 2020 has seen significantly increased demand for the Winter Shelter. Since opening in May, Eastland’s Winter Shelter has welcomed more than 1,400 guests and distributed over 4,600 meals.
Through a new partnership with EACH Ringwood, the Shelter has this year been able to provide complimentary clothing, bedding and sleeping bags as well as providing medical check-ups and flu injections for those most in need. The program has also delivered meals to people being supported in local hotels, including 150 meals for members of a circus stranded in the area due to COVID-19 restrictions.