The ACT government has revealed it has no plans to provide funding for a homeless men's shelter in Canberra, saying it has "reservations" about its effectiveness in dealing with long-term homelessness.
Safe Shelter will start up again at three church halls in the inner north from April 28.
It will provide homeless men a warm, safe place to sleep seven nights a week until October 26.
The program is funded through private donations and run by a team of around 80 volunteers.
In response to a question on notice from Greens crossbencher Caroline Le Couteur, Housing Minister Yvette Berry said the government had not been approached by the service for funding, nor did it plan "to assist" Safe Shelter.
"The ACT government continues to have reservations in creating overnight shelters which do not provide clear pathways to long-term accommodation," Ms Berry said.
"Australian and international evidence shows that placing large concentrations of people facing disadvantage in temporary accommodation does not provide good social outcomes and can exacerbate trauma and cyclic homelessness.
"People experiencing or at risk of homelessness may access the ACT's integrated human services gateway, OneLink who provide information regarding accommodation and connects them to human services and programs that meet their needs."
But Safe Shelter co-ordinator Richard Griffiths said those services did not help people who needed quick, short-term accommodation.
"There's no answer on where they're going to go tomorrow night or the night after unless there's space in one of those supported accommodation," Mr Griffiths said.
Mr Griffith also said there was "no pathway that takes you from sleeping on the streets at night to being connected to all these services".
"The minister's strategy of supportive accommodation and public housing gives them no way of getting from sleeping on the streets into either of those services in a reasonable time," he said.
"Supportive housing is full and public housing has multi-year waiting lists.
"Our point has always been the first thing you do is get people off the streets and then you get them into permanent housing."
In a statement, Ms Berry said the ACT government had reduced homelessness by 8 per cent since 2011, a period when the ACT's population grew by 11 per cent.
She said the government gave more than $21 million to the specialist homelessness sector to provide 50 programs that support people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, including crisis accommodation, counselling and financial management.
There was also extra $6.5 million in last year's budget for frontline homelessness services to deal with Canberra's growing accommodation crisis.
OneLink got a $586,000 boost so it could open on weekends over the next four years, starting last month.
And the government also recently promised to spend $100 million investment to build 200 new public housing properties and renovate a further 1000.
"The ACT government continues to work with Safe Shelter to make sure that people in need of accommodation are linked up with the expert support workers within the specialist homelessness sector," Ms Berry said.
However Mr Griffiths said he had not asked for, nor was too concerned about receiving government funding, given the generosity of Canberrans over the years.
He said being funded by private donations gave them a huge advantage over other accommodation services, as their guests had to fill out less paperwork.
"Just to get onto the OneLink system is a four-page questionnaire. If your English is not so good because you're an asylum seeker, that's an insurmountable hurdle."
However Mr Griffiths said Safe Shelter was seeking more volunteers to run this year's service, with fewer new people signing up.
Volunteers are required to sleep in the church hall for one night a month.
Safe Shelter runs at All Saints Anglican Church in Ainslie on Sundays Mondays; St Columba's Uniting Church in Braddon Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; and The Salvation Army Canberra City Corps, Braddon, on Fridays and Saturdays. To volunteer, email: email@example.com