Bethany Services

Find out about what Bethany are doing to help


Winter Care Shelter

The Care Shelter provides people who are rough sleeping with a place to go for the night where they can find shelter, a hot meal and a warm place to sleep.


The Care Shelter provides people who are rough sleeping with a place to go for the night where they can find shelter, a hot meal and a warm, safe place to sleep.

Started in Edinburgh in 1996 with a two-week pilot over Christmas, the Care Shelter has grown over the years to meet the presenting need.  It now spans seven and a half months over the winter, operating every night from the end of September until the beginning of May.

The service is run by a small team of staff and relies on over 1,000 volunteers from churches across the Lothians who prepare and serve a hot, nutritious meal each evening.  Previously the churches also provided venues on a nightly rota basis but since December 2018 the Care Shelter has been located at Diadem on Gorgie Road.

The service has been a lifeline for many people over the years.

The Care Shelter is funded by the voluntary donations of trusts and foundations, individuals and communities, as well as receiving some money from Caring Christmas Trees.

If you would like to find out more about this service please call 0131 561 8930

Read the 2018-2019 Winter Care Shelter Report here

Care Shelter Locations

The Care Shelter opened on 23 September 2019 and will run through till 3 May 2020.

The venue for the shelter each night can be found on the posters below.  To be added to the distribution list to receive a copy of the poster for each block of dates, send us an email.

"Where Can I Get Help?" Leaflet

We produce a special edition of the leaflet with the current Care Shelter timetable on the reverse (the regular version can be found under the Care Van).  Please feel free to download it and use it in your conversations with people that are homeless that you come across in Edinburgh.

It is in an A3 format and is intended for printing.  Once printed fold it in half and half again to make an A5 booklet.


Care Van Edinburgh

The Care Van provides a source of care and support for vulnerable and homeless people in the centre of Edinburgh every night through:


The Care Van provides a source of care and support for people who are homeless and vulnerable in the centre of Edinburgh every night through:

  • Food, hot drinks, blankets & clothes
  • Friendship & encouragement
  • General advice & information

It is run in partnership with Edinburgh City Mission and serves between 20 and 60 people who are rough sleeping on 363 nights of the year.  Staffed by around 750 people from 45 volunteer teams from churches across Edinburgh and the Lothians, the service relies entirely on volunteers.

Since November 2013 a Lunchtime Care Van service has been in operation, providing sandwiches, snacks and hot drinks to those who are rough sleeping or housed in homeless B&B accommodation by the Council.  The van goes out on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and regularly serves between 30 and 60 people.

To find out more about these services call 0131 561 8930.

"Where Can I Get Help?" Leaflet

We use this leaflet on the Care Van to signpost people to appropriate services.  Please feel free to download it and use it in your conversations with people you come across who are homeless in Edinburgh.

It is available in an A3 format for reading and one for printing.  Once printed fold it in half and half again to make an A5 booklet.

Care Van News

The latest newsletter from the Care Van – Summer 2019


Care Van Glasgow

Thanks to the generous donation of a new van for the Edinburgh Care Van service, an opportunity arose to work in partnership with local churches to offer a service of support and care to vulnerable people living in deprived areas of Glasgow.


Care Van Glasgow will operate on three lunchtimes per week, starting before the end of 2019. Unlike the city-centre based service in Edinburgh, the teams of church volunteers will use the van to reach out and engage with people in their own communities. Disadvantaged by wide ranging factors, many people live in poverty and isolation, increasing their risk of poor health and homelessness. From the newly refitted van, the volunteers will help relieve suffering by providing food and hot drinks, a friendly listening ear, encouragement, compassion, local knowledge and information, general advice and signposting where appropriate.

To find out more about this service call 0141 766 0177. 


Bethany House

Our Emergency Resettlement Unit is called Bethany House. It accommodates 24 men and 4 women in 6 cluster flats.


There are 4 five-bedroom flats and 2 four-bedroom flats. Each resident has a single lockable bedroom and shares a living room, bathroom and kitchen.

Meals are provided from the central kitchen and served in the communal dining room.  Residents are encouraged to get involved with the preparation and serving of lunch, and have a responsibility for participating in kitchen duty.

Who can apply?
Prospective residents must be over 16, and homeless either through having no secure tenancy, or where their home/tenancy is deemed to be an unsafe environment. They are expected to be able to cope with personal care, and must be willing to claim benefits, register with a local GP, and apply for more permanent housing.

How to apply
Referrals can be only be accepted through Edinburgh City Council or the Rapid Access Accommodation Providers who received referrals daily via Streetwork. If there are any vacancies available at the time, an interview for later on the same day will be offered. Interview appointments are allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Bethany House does not operate a waiting list.

Please call 0131 561 8911 for further information.


Bethany Christian Centre

Bethany Christian Centre aims, through a supported residential community, to assist individuals in their recovery from an addictive lifestyle.


The Centre provides access to a selection of recovery programmes including structured group-work, one-to-one support, recreation, work activities and training opportunities.  There is a focus on a Christian recovery programme, however individuals who do not want a faith aspect are also accommodated and provided with a tailored recovery programme.


Accommodation is provided in a community setting for men who have a desire to work toward living independently but who do not yet feel ready to take this step.  There are 18 spaces in a combination of 3 twin and 12 single bedrooms.  Meals are provided from the central kitchen and eaten together in the dining room.  Residents are encouraged to be involved with the preparation and serving of meals, and to have a responsibility for participating in kitchen duty.  Public areas are made up of a quiet room, a television lounge, a communal dining room, a residents’ tearoom, a laundry room, and a garden.

Admission Criteria

  • Accommodation is offered to men between the ages of 18-65 with addiction problems and a desire to make changes to their lifestyle.
  • Bethany Christian Centre is a dry house and residents must have a desire to adopt a completely alcohol and drug free lifestyle.
  • Individuals will be admitted on the premise that they want to address their addiction issues through one-to-one and group support.
  • As one of the main emphasis of Bethany Christian Centre is community living it is important that each resident is at ease with this social setting and with the Christian ethos it is based upon.
  • Admission is on the understanding that the individual expects to stay for a minimum of 6 months before moving on to further accommodation.

Residents at Bethany Christian Centre are required to sign an occupancy agreement. They are advised that if they fail to meet their responsibilities under the terms of the agreement, they may be asked to leave. A copy of the occupancy agreement is available on request.

How to apply

For further information please contact the Duty Worker at:
Bethany Christian Trust, 6 Casselbank Street, Edinburgh, EH6 5HA

Tel: 0131 454 3125


Gateway to Homes and Communities

Gateway to Homes and Communities provides homeless families and individuals with essential household items on moving into their new tenancy.


We provide free items of second hand furniture and starter packs. We run this project in partnership with Rock Trust and Fresh Start.

Who can apply

Gateway to Homes and Communities helps new tenants to access what they need to settle into their new home. Gateway Plus is similar to Gateway to Homes & Communities but provides a cost effective alternative to furnishing homes. We provide items of furniture, starter packs and a range of appliances at very low prices. Gateway Plus helps housing associations and support agencies to access goods for their tenants.

How to apply

Call: 0131 561 8903


Bethany Banquets

Bethany Banquets happen during the summer months, when the Care Shelter is closed.  They are monthly meals with live music and a roast dinner for anyone who might use the Care Shelter or the Care Van.


The aim is to make our guests feel special by providing a nice environment with table decorations, really good food and live entertainment.  Residents from other Bethany services help with the cooking, setting up and providing the music.

The meals move around different churches and happen once a month during the summer to bridge the gap between the Care Shelter closing in May and reopening in September.

If you would like to find out more about this service please call 0131 561 8930.