A WATERFORD homeless shelter is planning to have the capacity to accommodate eight more people by Christmas this year.
Sheltered by Grace was presented with a $97,795 Gambling Community Benefit Fund grant this month to go towards the construction of a two story Homeless Transition Centre building to provide on-site counselling, training and accommodation at Old Logan Village Road.
For the past nine years, counselling services have been completed on a limited basis inside the shelter's administration building due to financial constraints.
Chairman Jason Loakes said the Homeless Transition Centre would be a massive step forward for Sheltered by Grace.
"In practical terms, we can finally give private on-site counselling seven days a week in an appropriate setting," he said.
"If any job network service providers want to do on-site training they will have the space to do it and we can house more people. Instead of accommodating 12 we could take on eight more people.
"It is not a lot in the scheme of things but it is a good start compared to nothing else."
Waterford MP Shannon Fentiman said the state government funding would support some of the most vulnerable people in Logan.
"I am so pleased that this funding will go towards helping locals who truly need assistance," she said.
"This grant will be used for the expansion of the organisation's existing facility, which means more accommodation, counselling, rehabilitation and training services.
"Sheltered by Grace is made up of an amazing group of people and I cannot praise them enough for everything they do for our community."
Mr Loakes said it was vital to have the project complete before Christmas in order to be in the best position to meet an anticipated demand for homelessness services.
"It means a lot to us at the shelter to have this done because Christmas Day can be a time involving alcohol, drugs and family," he said.
"Sometimes it is fantastic, at other times it is deadly.
"Over the past nine years we have been at our busiest in the December and January period."
Donations toward the project are still welcome with Sheltered by Grace expecting a $50,000 financial gap to meet labour, material and certification costs.