A five-week trial for a homeless daytime drop-in centre in Tauranga began this week.
"Street Retreat" has been set up at Holy Trinity Church on the corner of 3rd Ave and Devonport Rd in the CBD by the Community Angels, a charitable trust.
It is somewhere for the city's homeless community to go between 11.30am-3pm every Wednesday.
There they will find food, hot drinks, books, cards and board games. It is a place of rest and respite, off the street.
There is also someone manning a sewing machine to mend clothes and a place to charge their phones.
Volunteers from several of Tauranga's community groups that help feed the homeless each week – including Street Kai (Milo Night), Kai Aroha and the Merrivale community meal – are helping out.
The first day of Street Retreat on Wednesday saw nine homeless people show up, most of whom stayed the whole day.
One of the organisers, Tracey Carlton, says the attendees chatted, ate and played chess.
"What we are excited about, is this is a community response for our homeless men and women and it proves what a community is capable of when it pulls together for a common purpose," she said.
"The Community Angels and Holy Trinity Church are keen to see how our trial goes. If all goes well, the Street Retreat will run on Wednesdays in 2019."
Carlton says the ultimate goal is to have a more permanent space where showers and wrap-around services can also be offered.
She says the initiative was born out of the council's proposed begging and rough sleeping bylaw.