Find out more about what we do and why we do it

We have 18 beds available for guests on a first come, first served basis on the nights we are open (not Sundays or Thursdays).

Guests are advised to queue in the courtyard until the evening’s Supervisor takes a bed list at approximately 7.45pm onwards. When we open at 9,30pm, the Supervisor will invite the first 18 guests on the list to occupy the available beds. Please note that if a guest on the bed list is not present at opening time, the Supervisor may offer the bed to another guest.

Please be aware reservations by phone are not accepted.

We ask all guests queuing in the courtyard to be respectful of our neighbours and the wider community.

Facilities for guests comprise a large dormitory with eighteen emergency beds, a dining area, bathrooms with toilet and shower facilities. There is also a kitchen, stores, laundry and offices. There are separate facilities for volunteers that include a lounge, bedroom, toilet and shower facilities.

The Night Shelter is open five nights every week throughout the year.


On most nights it is used by between 80 to 100 guests who are served dinner between 9.30pm and 10.30pm.


Overnight guests only are served breakfast at 6.30am before the shelter closes at 7.30am. 

This site aims to provide visitors with an insight into the Trust which is wholly staffed, managed and financed by volunteers and voluntary donations of food and funds.

Julian Trust Nightshelter currently costs around £1,500 per week to run (2018), which at £15 per bed space per night, represents good value for money.

When requested by overnight guests, we provide a laundry service and try to provide clean alternative clothes where needed (dependent on donations). 

Other services available include a regular weekly visit from St John Ambulance and St Mungos Outreach workers. Additional services are sometimes provided at the Night Shelter by external agencies, such as health screening; flu vaccinations and chiropody.

During the Christmas period, the Night Shelter is taken over by Caring at Christmas. It opens the Christmas Shelter for 24 hours a day for seven to 10 days. During this time, seasonal food and entertainment are provided. Special permission is granted by Bristol City Council for approximately fifty guests to stay overnight.

Homelessness in the City of Bristol has received much publicity over many years. Various official surveys have suggested that we have the largest numbers of homeless outside of London. There is also a range of views as to what extent the situation has improved since the 1980’s. One thing is certain that those who are roofless, sleeping rough around the city, have the most appalling conditions to contend with. It was for them that the Julian Trust was originally set up. Of those who present themselves at the Night Shelter many have been, or feel, rejected by society. Some are bewildered, confused, suspicious, even angry. They all share the burdens of poverty, loneliness and the inability at times to cope with life’s basic demands.

The reasons for the plight of these people are many, each has their own individual story about their route to homelessness. The following factors often have a part to play: family breakdown, unemployment, bereavement, broken relationships, mental health issues, abuse of alcohol or drugs, difficulty in adjusting after coming out of prison, or withdrawal from a society that appears to have no use for them. 

These are men and women who have in many cases fallen out with the requirements of established institutions and who now, for a time, find they have nowhere else to go. In their emergency they will find a welcome at the Night Shelter with its open-door policy. For them, the Julian Trust offers human contact and the basic needs of food, warmth and an emergency bed for the night—without any forms to fill in or questions to be answered.

The Julian Trust acknowledges the work of more than forty other agencies in Bristol who are working with homeless people. Our aim is to provide basic first stage emergency accommodation to get people off the streets. Other agencies try to assess and address long-term needs for housing, health care, employment training and addiction counselling where appropriate.

“Our aim is to provide first stage emergency accomodation

to get people off the streets."


The Julian Trust remains committed to serving the needs of homeless and vulnerable people in Bristol. We do not work alone; we work together with other agencies.


We work closely with other shelter providers in Bristol through the Shelter Programme Steering Group which includes:

St Mungos                           
who run the 20 bed assessment centre at St Mungos

Caring in Bristol                   
who run the 15 bed 365 Shelter and the 60 bed Caring at Christmas Project


Crisis Centre Ministries

who run the 12 bed Spring of Hope shelter for women and the Bristol Churches Winter Nightshelter project

Bristol City Council


We are active in the Bristol Homeless Forum which represents a great many of the organisation working with homeless people in Bristol that are listed in Bristol Homeless Connect, an online Survival Handbook.


Together we will continue to make a difference!


If you are aware of a person that is rough sleeping, please contact Streetlink by clicking on the link below. A member of their team will make contact with the individual with a view to helping them into emergency short stay accommodation.