BENDIGO Winter Night Shelter organisers are hopeful they will be able to offer people sleeping rough a meal and a safe place to rest next year.
It comes after a Melbourne council ordered the closure of a similar service, citing Victorian Building Authority regulations.
The Yarra Ranges Council last week told Stable One, the not-for-profit organisation running the program, it could no longer use church buildings to offer people in need food and shelter until it had an occupancy permit.
The Winter Shelter changes venue every night, sharing the load between all the involved churches.
The same model applies in Bendigo, with 10 beds made available in one of 14 participating churches each night during winter.
"As far as we're aware we're all above board," Bendigo Winter Night Shelter project coordinator Lachlan Weir said.
He said all venues had temporary occupancy permits and the council had been supportive of the initiative, which is entering its final week for the year.
"We made sure all the buildings were brought up to acceptable standards for sleeping arrangements," Mr Weir said.
But deputy project coordinator Matthew Parkinson said the issues the Winter Night Shelter was experiencing in the Yarra Ranges were concerning.
The City of Greater Bendigo said the program was operating under a temporary permit.
"If the organisers wish to continue it on next year the city would need to work with the stakeholders around the requirements needed for the program," a spokesperson said.
Mr Weir said whether or not permits were an issue depended on individual surveyors and councils and how they interpreted the law.
He said what the program was providing was not accommodation; it was temporary shelter.
"It simply is an expansion of the activities of the church," Mr Weir said.
Mr Parkinson said organisers wanted to be able to offer the initiative again next year because of its success.
More than 30 people are believed to have accessed the program, some of whom had sought shelter almost every day, others who dropped by once or twice.
"We've seen quite remarkable change," Mr Parkinson said.
Both he and Mr Weir said they would be planning for 2019 after the program wraps up for the year on August 31.
"It's about time councils and governments got behind this sort of thing," Mr Parkinson said.
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