HOMELESS men across Bathurst will once again be offered a safe place to sleep in the coldest months of the year.
The organisers of Uniting Safe Shelter (USS), formerly known as Uniting Safe Space, are preparing to relaunch the project for 2019.
Organiser Julie Greig said the overnight service was well-used last year at the Bathurst Uniting Church site and the church, with the help of other organisations, was pleased to bring it back.
"Having housed guests for a total of 206 bed nights over the four winter months of 2018, we are convinced that there is indeed a need for an emergency shelter of this kind," she said.
"We are keen to improve and expand the service, and look forward to working again with our wonderful partners from the Bathurst community."
After considering feedback from those who used the service last year, USS will be expanded to five months from May to October.
The church is hoping to employ a facilitator to assist in the management of the service and a new bathroom with shower amenities is being built for the use of those staying overnight.
Volunteers are again being sought to help run USS, which was generously supported by more than 70 individuals and organisations last year.
That included an expert advisory group which included representatives from The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, Hope Care, Anglicare, The Bridge Community, Wellways Australia and the Catholic Diocese.
Holy Trinity Anglican Church and others provided home-cooked frozen meals, and St Joseph's Convent assisted with the laundry.
Thirty-five volunteers from the community took turns staying overnight, including CSU first year paramedic students, TAFE students and community volunteers.
"Having got the project up and running, with the community's help, we are very keen to see it thrive this year," Ms Greig said.
"Anyone who's interested can come along to an information session and learn more."
Information and training sessions will be given to all volunteers, who will always be working in pairs.
Training will include drug and alcohol information, de-escalation techniques and information on homelessness.
Volunteers who can provide meals, skills and monetary assistance are also invited to participate.
The USS organisers have also thanked the Rotary Club of Bathurst Daybreak, which recently donated $500 to the service.