Churchlands volunteer uses Homelessness Week to encourage others to help Perth’s most vulnerable

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE support Vinnies gives more than 40,000 people annually appealed to a Churchlands resident so much he dedicated five years to volunteering for its Street Appeal.

Ahead of Homelessness Week from August 6-12, David Kennedy said people sleeping rough and at risk of becoming homeless was a huge concern in Perth.

“We assist 40,000 people each year, giving them support when they have no one else to turn to,” he said.

“Our approach is to be non-judgemental, supportive and compassionate to help people when times are hard.

“The most expensive part of helping people experiencing homelessness is trying to find accommodation.

“At Vinnies our core work is offering emergency relief so the work we do is providing temporary accommodation and relief.”

As a volunteer for the Vinnies Subiaco branch, Mr Kennedy said his role was to provide advocacy and friendship along with a range of practical assistance to those most in need while also helping raise funds through the annual Street Appeal in September.

“On the Vinnies Street Appeal a couple of years ago I had another lady, who was very well dressed and obviously looked rather affluent come along and tip the entire contents of her purse into my tin,” he said.

“She commented that she didn’t always look like this and if it wasn’t for Vinnies who had helped her many years ago when she lived in Sydney, she wouldn’t be here today.”

Stories like those drive Mr Kennedy to continue volunteering to make a difference and encouraged others to get involved.

Anyone wanting to volunteer or to donate, visit vinnies.org.au or email volunteer@svdpwa.org.au.