Homelessness Week adapts during Covid-19
Homelessness Week, 2-7 August
Homelessness Week, which is held each year during the first week in August, Social Services and the community hold events to support those people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.
Hunter Homeless Connect Inc. holds an annual Hunter Homeless Connect Day, where people who are experiencing homelessness, doing it tough, or are at risk of homelessness, are provided with a one-stop-shop of free services, activities, entertainment and giveaways. Since 2014, Pastoral Ministries staff have contributed to this day by providing toiletries and for the first-time last year grocery items. The day provides a valuable opportunity for staff to see mission in action, and able to gain a greater understanding about homelessness.
Due COVID restrictions, the Hunter Homeless Connect committee decided not to hold the day this year, but the committee wanted to keep alive the vision “Building an inclusive community with zero judgement”. As such, the committee recognised the need for a different way to build on this vision during these unprecedented times. In place of the event, the Hunter Homeless Connect have updated their Community Connections Directory to provide up-to-date information of service providers that are currently operating during COVID-19. The directory makes available valuable information to people who are requiring assistance due to homelessness (or at risk of homelessness), some people for the very first time. The Community Connection Directory can be accessed here.
The Order of Malta – Australia, a Catholic organisation based in Sydney, usually collect winter coats to be given out on the day, however this year they have kindly donated (and freighted) 3000 brand new winter coats. These coats have already been distributed throughout the Hunter to people who are really struggling and are making a huge difference in this cold weather.
CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning mission is to build a stronger, kinder and fairer society that values all people. If you are able to, please consider donating to the CatholicCare Winter Appeal here to provide vital food to people experiencing homelessness through no fault of their own.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought many challenges for everyone in our community, especially those who are vulnerable. Almost one in 10 Australians will be unemployed by Christmas as the pandemic continues to put pressure on families and our community. As a result, there will be an increase in vulnerable people requiring assistance from social service sectors for housing and support. Each of us as a community can do our bit to help our vulnerable people in our community.