“This place has saved my life!”

Winter 2018-2019 was the busiest season at the Care Shelter in its 23 year history. In total, 746 individuals were welcomed in, with an average of 59 people attending per night. This resulted in 13,267 presentations which was up 159% on the previous season. Unfortunately, it is evident that rough sleeping is becoming more prevalent in Edinburgh.

The Care Shelter exists as a safety net—it is the last option for people when all other avenues have failed.

While night shelters are not a long-term solution to homelessness, we believe they are a necessary intervention when people are in an immediate crisis, to prevent them having to sleep outside; often during the coldest months of the year. The statistics in this report show how necessary the Care Shelter is in Edinburgh, in the absence of a better provision that is available to everyone. When such a time becomes a reality, we will be delighted to stop operating the Care Shelter. In the meantime, the Care Shelter prevents more than 700 people from sleeping rough on the city’s streets each winter and undoubtedly saves lives.

You can learn more about the life saving work our Care Shelter team and volunteers by reading our 2018/2019 Care Shelter Report.