WITH just under a quarter of Gunnedah renting households having trouble keeping up with the rent, the region’s service providers will come together on August 8 to help those most in need.
Everyday essentials such as hot meals, clothes and haircuts will be on offer, when over 20 service providers will come together at the Gunnedah Town Hall for Homeless Connect Day.
Hosted by Gunnedah Family Support Homebase, the day is an opportunity for people to access help before they reach crisis point, and for those who are experiencing homelessness to get practical assistance.
Home Base homelessness services case worker, Lenelle Ritter, said the day was designed to help breakdown stigmas about homelessness.
“When people think of homelessness they imagine someone sleeping on a park bench, and that’s just not accurate,” Ms Ritter said.
“There are so many faces of homelessness.
“Here at Home Base we see them all: young people couch surfing, women escaping domestic violence, people with mental illness and disability who need help maintaining a home.”
Ms Ritter said homelessness and housing affordability was a common issue within the community.
“Housing affordability is a nationwide issue, and Gunnedah is not immune,” she said.
“About 24.9 per cent of Gunnedah renting households are experiencing rental stress, struggling to afford basic expenses after spending over 30 per cent of their income on rent.
“The other side of homelessness people forget are those who are at high risk: there are so many pensioners and families who are struggling to get by, an unexpected bill or a personal crisis can be a catalyst for homelessness in already vulnerable people.”
With support from Gunnedah Community Action Team (GCAT) Homeless Connect Day will feature essential things people doing it tough need.
“Services will also be available on the day to help with things like; housing applications, resumes, tenant advocacy, referrals and information,” Ms Ritter said.
“All kinds of support will be there.”
- Homeless Connect Day will be held at the Gunnedah Town Hall from 10am to 2pm on Wednesday 8 August.
- Transport is available.
- For more information or to book transport contact Lenelle Ritter on 6742 2967.