This Christmas Help Take the Heat off the Homeless
A new initiative by Knights and Dames of the NSW Order of Malta has begun delivering water and sun-protection, to the Sydney’s rough sleepers during the summer months. The weekly service will be provided by Order volunteers and a trained nurse, provided by St Vincent’s Hospital, to administer healthcare to those living on the street.
The initiative is an extension of the Order of Malta NSW Community Care Van project, which began in June. During the winter months, volunteer drivers took to the streets to distribute the Order’s Coats for the Homeless to the city’s homeless population to protect them from the cold and wet weather.
With a hot, dry Sydney summer forecast, the NSW Branch developed the Community Care Van offering to combat heat related illness amongst the homeless who are particularly vulnerable during the warmer months. Volunteers will distribute water, sunscreen and sun hats and a Nurse from St Vincent’s will continue to offer healthcare.
Heatwaves cause more deaths in Australia each year than any other natural disaster, and have a greater negative impact on population health than any other natural hazard.
“The evolution of the Community Care Van project to distribute water and sun protection, came through discussions with St Vincent’s Hospital who highlighted a real need for preventative measure to help those sleeping on the streets during the summer months” explained NSW Branch Chairman David Hall AM. “Providing this service is very much aligned with our mission to assist the Lord’s poor and sick”.
The NSW Branch of the Order of Malta are involved in a number of additional Charitable activities in the Community, including the Coats for the Homeless project, financial and volunteer support of Gorman House Drug Detoxification Unit at St Vincent’s Hospital, financial support of the Palliative Care Unit at St Joseph’s Hospital and the hosting of the Annual Lourdes Day Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral for the sick and infirm.
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