The Nanaimo Unitarian Shelter provides emergency shelter to adults ages 19 and over. 

We are open for guests from 5 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., 7 days a week.

To check if we have a bed available call 250-754-3720 or come see us after 4 p.m. at 595 Townsite Road to have your name added to the waitlist.

Since 2008, the Nanaimo Unitarian Shelter, operated by the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo, has served as a temporary home for hundreds of adults struggling with poverty including seniors, people with disabilities, low wage workers, students, those suffering with mental illness and people struggling with addictions. We provide a warm refuge, a non-judgemental welcome and hot meals for people experiencing homelessness. 

Open seven nights a week year round from 5 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., the shelter is funded through the BC Housing, and by generous cash and in kind donations from members of the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo and individuals, businesses and organizations in our community – and beyond.

Hours: 5 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.

Contact: 250-754-3720

“The Unitarian Shelter is the most welcoming place I have ever stayed.  I feel really uncomfortable a lot of places, but they don’t ask invasive questions, they just accept everyone for who they are and welcome us”

– Guest

Free Shower Program

In partnership with the City of Nanaimo, we run a free shower program to anyone experiencing homelessness or unstable housing.  Toiletries (soap, shampoo, clean towel and facecloth etc.) are provided for free. You can also enjoy a hot or cold beverage while waiting. This program is supported with funding from the City of Nanaimo and the United Way administered Reaching Home program.

We are located at Caledonia Park, 110 Wall Street in the buildings on the south side of the park.

Hours: 7 a.m. to 12 noon. Last shower starts at 11:30 a.m.


If you would like to support our efforts working with people experiencing homelessness in our community, contact us for information on making a cash donation, or providing clothing or other materials and supplies to help ensure our guests are warm and comfortable during their stay with us. Thank you!

Clothing, blankets, jackets, socks, and other in-kind donations can be dropped off by appointment at our shelter.  Please call the office at 250-754-3720 to arrange.

Donate to the Shelter via e-transfer

We have set up the Unitarian Shelter bank account to automatically deposit e-transfers sent to, making this the most efficient way for us to receive donations at this time.

If we don’t have your contact information on file, please add your name and address to the “Message/ Memo” field so we can send you a tax receipt. Tax receipts are sent out once per year in February.

Or you may make a cheque out to “First Unitarian Fellowship Shelter” and mailed or dropped off to:

First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo
595 Townsite Road
Nanaimo, BC, V9S 1K9

Attention: Gina

We are a registered Charity and generally issue tax receipts annually.  If you would like one issued at the time of donation, please contact Gina at: 250-755-1215 or

Outreach / Case Manager

Starting in January 2020, with a seed grant from the Nanaimo Foundation, we began a program to provide an outreach worker and case manager for shelter guests. Our case manager Jessica Wilson is available to support guests of the shelter and people using the free shower program.  She can assist with a range of needs including:

  • Vulnerability Assessments
  • Income Assistance
  • Housing applications
  • Help accessing medical assistance
  • ID Replacement applications
  • Addictions and mental health services referrals and applications

Jessica is reachable by phone at the shelter 250-754-3720 or by email at

This program is supported with funding from the United Way administered Reaching Home program and charitable donations.

Clean Team

As part of our commitment to good neighborhood relations we have a CleanTeam that does bi-weekly garbage pick-up in the neighborhood and parks in the vicinity of the shelter. A shelter staff member accompanies two shelter guests who are paid an honorarium to take part in the program. Watch for us in our reflective vests with garbage buckets and pickers. This program is supported with funding from charitable donations.

Shelter Contacts

Shelter phone250-754-3720
Operations Manager
Executive Director
Case Manager

Address: Unitarian Shelter, 595 Townsite Road, Nanaimo BC V9S 1K9

Nanaimo Unitarian Shelter

Our Funders

We gratefully acknowledge the support of BC Housing, the City of Nanaimo and the United Way British Columbia – Central & Northern Vancouver Island.

For more Information

For more information about the Unitarian Shelter, please download and share the attached brochure: