East Victoria Park: The Haven hopes to help even more living on the street

East Victoria Park: The Haven hopes to help even more living on the street

BUBBLE wrap to help sleep comfortably and food are just some of the requests The Haven manager Joan Sutherland gets every week and she hopes to help even more people living on the street.

The Haven in East Victoria Park opened on November 11 in a recently renovated building and offers respite to people doing it tough.

Mrs Sutherland said she wanted to improve the self-worth of the people coming through.

“It’s more than a meal, it’s about building relationships and allowing them to feel relaxed,” she said.

“We ask our volunteers to treat people with respect no matter what they look or smell like.”

Mrs Sutherland said many of the people who came through were not members of the public the community would expect.

“We have pensioners who are finding things difficult that come in or people have come from broken relationships,” she said.

“I had a woman come in and ask for bubble wrap so she could sleep more comfortably and we have young people, who can afford rent and bills but can’t afford food.

“There’s more that I’d like to do next year: I’ve already met with Orange Sky Laundry and I want to get a Street Doctor to come here.

“At the moment we are giving out 100 to 150 meals per day from Tuesday to Saturday but I’d like to see our hours expand.”

Mrs Sutherland said there was a lot of work that needed to be done after she identified the vacant building in March.

“We’ve created a second furnishings and bric-a-brac store out the front, which helps funds everything that happens out the back,” she said.