As most long term residents of Alice Springs may know, Drug and Alcohol Services Australia (DASA) is a community organisation established to address alcohol and other drug issues in Alice Springs and surrounding areas. The need for a non-government community organisation in Alice Springs was recognised in 1984 by Northern Territory and Local Government, the NT Department of Health and concerned private citizens.

It was recognised that the need to address alcohol and other drug problems should be met by local non-government organisations as fast as possible. Little service development existed in the Alice Springs region at the time. Progressive implementation of a range of services was therefore planned. The newly formed DASA Inc. agreed that an urgent need was the establishment of a Sobering-Up Shelter as an alternative to police protective custody for the large number of apprehensions for public drunkenness.

In consultation with Government and the NT Department of Health, DASA committed itself to the priority of establishing the Shelter as the first stage of ongoing development of a further range of services to address other recognised needs. Since that time DASA has grown into a large organisation offering a variety of services for Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents of Central Australia.

The Shelter provides supervised accommodation and care as an alternative to the police cells for people ‘apprehended without arrest’ for being intoxicated in a public place. Clients of this service are given a bed for the night, a meal and shower facilities; and are monitored throughout their stay.

The Shelter is staffed by Care Workers who are empathetic and professional in their duties. These staff offer the clients a safe and clean place to ‘sober up’ and when appropriate they offer brief intervention and referrals to our Outreach Team and Aranda House Therapeutic Community.

Referrals are also accepted from other service providers, and we also encourage self-referral to the Shelter.

The Shelter is open six nights a week - Monday through to Saturday night, 1pm to 9am.

The Shelter is closed on Sunday night.

Eligibility criteria:

  • People aged 17 and over - working, unemployed, Aboriginal, non-Aboriginal regardless of (dis)ability, culture, sexual orientation or ability to afford services.
  • Young people aged 14 to 18 who are referred by Alice Springs Youth Accommodation and Support Services (ASYASS)
  • Straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, inter-sex, or just not sure, you are ALL very welcome here.

The Team

AOD Outreach Coordinator

Jeremy Mckellar