- Friday 22 July 2016
Mayor Mark Jamieson said that in an affluent western society like Australia, it is often too easily overlooked that there are many people among us who are experiencing significant disadvantage.
“On any given night, there are nearly 20,000 people in Queensland who are homeless," Mayor Jamieson said.
“In my view, this is 20,000 people too many.
“As a community with a strong sense of fairness and one that is supportive of our fellow human beings, we should all be doing our level best to address this growing problem.
“And a big part of doing that is raising awareness of how widespread homelessness is and increasing our community’s understanding that this is often a situation that people find themselves in through no fault of their own.
“This is why council has partnered with the Housing and Homelessness Network to raise awareness about Homelessness Week and to encourage the community to support a range of fundraising events.
“One initiative in the Sunshine Coast Social Strategy is to identify opportunities to increase council’s support of social enterprises that assist the most vulnerable people.
“There are many things we can do to help people in our community who are experiencing homelessness or similar situations.
“This could include volunteering with a community organisation that provides emergency accommodation; donating time, resources or goods and services to assist those without access to a safe housing option; educating others to dispel the stereotype of a homeless person; and giving those who are homeless the same respect you would give to family and friends.”
Council to Homeless Persons Australia Queensland representative Deborah Blakeney said Homelessness Counts was the theme for Homelessness Week 2016.
“We want homeless people in our community to know they are not alone and there are services ready to assist during their hardship," she said.
“Importantly, we don’t want to make it just one week of the year where people think about people who are homeless.
“We want to increase community understanding and connections for those working in the homelessness sector.
“It is important to note, homelessness is a human rights issue - a home is a fundamental platform from which adults and children can reach their potential and participate fully in their communities.
“This should never be overlooked”.
Support one of the following causes during Homelessness Week:
Donate and make a difference
The public are invited to donate small tents, sleeping bags, swags, toiletries, socks and new underwear and deliver them to Coast 2 Bay Housing Group, Level 1 Centenary Square, 52-64 Currie Street, Nambour. These items will be distributed amongst the Housing and Homelessness Network to those facing or experiencing homelessness.
Sleep In Your Car Event, Buderim
6 August, Arrive from 7pm. Gates close 10pm, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs
This event is hosted by Fusion Sunshine Coast who work to help those in need in our communities and change their lives for the better. Fusion relies heavily on community support, and a large portion of this is from fundraising events and activities involving dedicated people like you.
Sleep In Your Car Event, Nambour
6 August, Arrive from 4:30pm, The Shack, 19 Price St, Nambour
For this event The Shack will be hosting a round of touch footy, free BBQ dinner (with some of The Shack's homeless clients joining) and a drive-in movie. A free BBQ breakfast will also be available to everyone who sleeps out!
The Shack is based in Nambour and runs a variety of programs supporting those in the community experiencing homelessness.
Visit www.sleepinyourcar.com.au and visit the Sunshine Coast events to donate.
Showers for Homeless Sunny Coast Fundraiser
Help Maroochydore Neighbourhood Centre raise funds to purchase portable showers for the homeless. The Centre are well on their way in securing a second shower with $2,000 already raised through the Go fund me page and other donations made direct to the centre. To donate head to www.gofundme.com/25k9k8pf. The Centre is also in need of toiletry care packs for men and women, towels, new underwear and socks.
Free Community Dinner
Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre in partnership with REAP Food Rescue, provide sit down free meals every Tuesday and Thursday nights from 5-6pm. to members of the community who are experiencing homelessness, or struggling to feed their family on a regular basis. Orange Sky Laundry also provides an onsite free clothes washing service to anyone who needs their clothes washed and dried. All donated care packs and fresh food can be dropped into the Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre Inc. located at 2 Fifth Avenue, Cotton Tree from Tuesday to Friday from 9.30am - 2pm.
Maleny Neighbourhood Centre
With the cold weather upon us the Maleny Neighbourhood Centre are in need of blankets for their emergency relief clients. Please drop blankets into their office located at 17 Bicentenary Lane, Maleny.
These are just some of the many organisations who assist our region’s homeless. You can take action on homelessness by donating and asking your family, friends and workmates to donate to one of these causes and help relieve the stress of homelessness in our community.For more details on homelessness visit www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au #homelessnesscounts.