“It can take six months from loss of work to being homeless.”
This was just one of the messages being spread during Homelessness Week at an information stall set up in Gloucester.
“And even quicker, if domestic violence is involved,” Kim Wiesner from Bucketts Way Neighbourhood Group (BWNG) explained.
Homelessness isn’t something people may associate with Gloucester, but it’s an issue that can affect anyone.
“I see at least one person or family per week,” Kim said. “People have the perception that homelessness is something you see, like people living outside Flinders Station, but that’s not always the case.”
Kim explained how homelessness can be people living in over crowded houses, living on a friend’s couch or living in makeshift accommodation.
As part of Homelessness Week from August 6-12, staff from the collective organisatons which make up the homelessness services in the MidCoast Council region decided to take the ‘Ending homelessness together’ message to the street, setting up out front of Lovey’s IGA on Tuesday, August 7. As well as providing information to the community, they were also collecting food to help those affected in Gloucester.
The Bucketts Way Neighbourhood Group at 88 King Street, is a place people can go for help, where staff can get utilise the network of services available, as well as provide food, personal supplies and temporary accommodation. However, Kim explained how the lack of affordable housing in Gloucester means people have to leave town, with the closest place being Taree.
BWNG is always looking for donations which can be non-perishable food, tents, sleeping bags and blankets. When it comes to donating food, it’s best to stick with things with a ring tab that don’t require an opener and also things that don’t need to be cooked. Also, please ensure the food is in date and in good condition. The general rule of thumb is, ‘If you won’t eat it, don’t donate it.”
Homelessness services are: BWNG, Manning Support Services, Catholic Care, Samaritans, Great Lakes and Manning Youth Homelessness Service, Community Housing Limited and the Department of Human Services (Centrelink).
Other stalls set up around the region during Homelessness Week were in Tuncurry on Monday, August 6 and Taree on Thursday, August 9.
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