"Amazing" community support is helping the Wang Night Shelter thrive as it prepares to open Saturday night for the third year running.
The shelter is operating out of four Wangaratta churches to provide dignity, community, food and shelter to people sleeping rough.
Team member Di Duursma said the shelter was run by volunteers.
"I can't even begin to describe how incredible it's been from our community groups and our businesses, and our people who are donating and encouraging us and finding ways that they can help," she said.
She said this year 70 people had volunteered, but another training night on June 10 would try to get 80 more volunteers to cope with the expected increase in demand due to skyrocketing rental prices.
"People are finding it very difficult," Ms Duursma said.
There's just not enough rentals, not enough housing, so many of them have got stuck.- Di Duursma
"In fact one of our volunteers from last year is actually facing homelessness this year due to some of those circumstances."
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Team member Bruce Hordern said support had grown this year after people heard about the "wonderful community built between the guests and the team of volunteers" last year.
He said people interacted with others who they normally wouldn't cross paths with and came together with the common cause of "providing refuge, providing care, providing hospitality and feeding people".
"Everyone who was involved last year is again involved this year, and they're all bringing a friend," he said.
Mr Hordern said the increase in volunteers was also due to increased community awareness of homelessness.
"There's an increased sensitivity in our community to the need for housing," he said.
There's an awareness in our community that this could be them, this could be me that's found myself in this situation of homelessness instead of it always being a third person that they've never met.- Bruce Hordern
People can donate money to the shelter, or donate goods based off the shelter's 'shopping list' on its Facebook page. People can also donate personal hygiene products, toiletries, beanies and socks to be made into 'rough sleeper bags'.
Goods drop off point:
'Rough sleeper bags' drop off point:
People sleeping rough can call the Wang Night Shelter on 0474 777 603 or if they have no credit they can call 1800 973 603.
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