FOR the second year in a row, the Bathurst Uniting Church will not offer a safe space for homeless men to sleep over winter, but the same people are stepping up in other ways to support people in need.
Bathurst Uniting Support Services (BUSS) will be launched on Thursday, the idea born out of the Uniting Safe Shelter initiative.
The purpose of BUSS is to support disadvantaged individuals and families through a range of new programs.
"It is so exciting that we are able to expand the Uniting Safe Shelter into the Bathurst Uniting Support Services that will provide many different activities with a focus on helping disadvantaged people and families in the Bathurst community," coordinator Julie Fry said.
"Over the years we have supported many people who are homeless or are experiencing disadvantage. The churches and community of Bathurst have been extremely generous and we look forward to their continued involvement."
Among the programs will be the Shelter Café, providing hot lunches, showers, sleeping bags and clothes on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 2pm in the Uniting Church hall in William Street.
This initiative was run in 2020 when the usual shelter couldn't be provided, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other BUSS initiatives for 2021 include the Substance Use in Pregnancy and Parenting (SUPPS) program, weekly barbecue breakfasts at the Chifley Opioid Clinic, Fun with Food activities for families, the Bathurst Buddies Program, pastoral care and morning tea, and grocery vouchers and Christmas hampers.
People can attend the launch of BUSS on Thursday at 2pm in the Uniting Church hall, with the event doubling as a fundraiser for SUPPS.
"The health department does not fund multivitamins for these mothers [in SUPPS], which cost about $260 per mum, yet they have been shown to have an extremely beneficial impact on the birth of healthy babies," Ms Fry said.
"We are raising money to help support the purchase of the multivitamins."
For more information, visit the BUSS Facebook page.
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