WARMING UP: Robyn De Daunton with a few of the sleeping bags donated to the homeless.
WARMING UP: Robyn De Daunton with a few of the sleeping bags donated to the homeless. Mike Knott BUN240619SAL1

Defeating winter woes: Why homeless service is winding down

IT WAS the little service that made a big difference for homeless people in Bundaberg during the past seven years.

But, Impact Community Service's Street Outreach Service, which started in 2012 when the organisation noticed a lack of homeless support services in the region, is winding down.

Through the organisation's board and collaboration with businesses like St John's Grace Fund, Shalom College, The Waves and Alowishus Delicious, the service was able to effectively help those in need.

Impact CEO Tanya O'Shea said they had up to 50 volunteers who were invested in the service and helping others make a change.

After consultations with the volunteers and stakeholders, Ms O'Shea said there was a reduced need for their service because of the increase in other local support services catering to the needs the service provided.

Ms O'Shea said rather than replicating or over subscribing services now available, they would close the outreach program and look to identify other gaps in the community where they could help.

Some of the services currently aiding Bundaberg's homeless community are the mobile shower unit, Oldies Angels, church groups and DrugArm.

The Bundaberg Salvation Army is also currently dispensing sleeping bags for those in need.

Captain Chris Millard said their partnership with the QRL had seen between 30 and 50 bags handed out already.

He said the awareness for homelessness was heightened with the cold snap in the region.

"People are homeless for many different reasons,” he said and while people say to him it is a choice, he encouraged people to realise if people are choosing to be homeless, things must be pretty bad.

Ms Millard said sometimes there was no good option, you've got two bad choices and you have to pick the "least bad”. For more visit www.salvationarmy.org.au.



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