Help homeless connect

Donations are needed for the Homeless Connect event. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d420480
Donations are needed for the Homeless Connect event. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d420480

‘Guests will be able to pick up new clothes, enjoy a hot meal, get their hair cut, visit medical services such as Mobile GP, dental and optometry and have free access to services for accommodation, legal advice, advocacy support, Centrelink, Medicare and Transperth,’ said Riverview Community Services manager Vanessa Calleja.

Established in 2010 by Victoria Park MLA Ben Wyatt, Communicare and Riverside, this year’s fifth annual event will be held to coincide with the onset of winter.

‘There is a shortage of housing stock in WA, particularly rentals, and this has caused increased rents so many single people living on a pension can’t afford housing,’ Mr Wyatt said.

‘There is now an over seven year wait for public housing and for those priority listed, meaning they have an urgent need for public housing and cannot gain private accommodation, there is at least a two-year wait.’

Communicare Acting CEO Wayne Stevenson said the group was at the coalface of supporting those feeling the pressures and problems of homelessness.

‘We have received more than a 1000 requests for financial assistance this year and believe the number will rise with the increasing costs of living and lack of affordable housing,’ Mr Stevenson said.

Many donations of jumpers, warm jackets, blankets, sleeping bags, toiletries and groceries had already been received at Riverview, many from members and collections at the HBF Run for a Reason, but more were needed.

‘In 2014 Helping Communities Connect is committed to putting a real smile, on the face of hundreds of people in our community but we can’t do it without your support,’ she said.

‘We need warm winter bedding and jackets, new underwear and socks, backpacks and sleeping bags.’

In 2010 the inaugural Community Connect was held at LeisureLife Centre in Victoria Park as part of Homeless Persons Week WA with about 300 people visiting the centre for services and support.

Donations can be dropped at Riverview, 1 Thorogood Street, Burswood Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm.