The Care Shelter

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Winter Care Shelter

The Care Shelter provides rough sleepers with a place to go for the night where they can find shelter, a hot meal and a warm place to sleep. This was started in Edinburgh in 1996 with a 2-week pilot over Christmas, and has now grown over the years to span 6 months over the winter, from October until April. The service is run by a small team of staff and relies on around 700 volunteers from churches across the Lothians who provide church venues for service users to sleep in on a nightly rota basis as well as preparing and serving hot food to homeless people on the premises. The service has been a lifeline for many people over the years.

An update from Cameron Black, Care Van Manager - The Care Shelter is incredibly busy this season. We are just over the halfway point on the six month season and we have already served 500 different people which is a huge increase when compared to 410 over the full season just three years ago. Recently we asked all volunteers across the Care Van and Care Shelter for sleeping bags and blankets and the response has been humbling. We now have a very healthy stock of both. Thank you very much! We have increased the capacity of the Care Shelter from 40-45 where the halls can cope. However, we have seen even higher numbers than this presenting on several occasions, especially when the weather is particularly nasty. In this circumstance, thanks to you, we have been able to feed people and also offer people a sleeping bag and a survival bag so that they are better prepared for the night. The peace of Christ has transcended the situation and we are seeing wonderful times. Last night one of the guys said to me “We are brothers in God here, we just look at each other and we know it”. Even when there has been a flash of frustration from a hurting individual the room has responded calmly and with grace. It has been incredibly humbling to be part of. We also have seen more external agencies coming into the Shelter than ever before to help people with their health, their housing, their finances and anything else too. The story of the Care Shelter is this: Real people are receiving real help from a real God. (Jan 2016)

Currie Kirk volunteers provide and cook dinner at least one night during the winter months. If you’re interested in finding out more please contact Fiona Pigott (0131 466 1459) or contact the Kirk office  on 0131 451 5141 or email

We are always looking for donations of men’s’ clothing – coats, sweatshirts, jeans, etc…. If you’re having a clear-out and would like to help please contact Gordon Clephane (0131 449 2313)


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