Yarram shows their support for homeless

August 7th to 14th signifies National Homelessness Week 2017.  This year our YDHS Housing Support Worker, Sonia O’Keefe, successfully negotiated with 4 local cafes to participate in this year’s CafeSmart fundraising event.  CafeSmart is a one day fundraising event that unites coffee lovers all over Australia to help people who are homeless.

On Friday, August 4 Hendo’s Café, Yarram Bakery, The Coffee Palace and Café AGA very generously donated $1 per every coffee sold toward homelessness programs in the local community.  This is the first year that Yarram has participated in the CafeSmart event, joining 8 other cafes across Gippsland in this opportunity to help out their local communities.

Thanks to all your support and the enthusiasm of participating cafés the day was an over whelming success with Cafés reporting their busiest trading day and lots of discussion generated about homelessness in the Yarram area.   Since the CafeSmart event several local organisations and individuals have approached Sonia for more information about homelessness in their community and ways they may be able to help.  This is a fabulous outcome and the very purpose of National Homelessness Awareness Week and the events that are held across Australia.

Some interesting statistics regarding homelessness in Gippsland include:

  • 5,400 people sought a service from our Housing entry points within the Gippsland Area
  • Of these 25% were aged between 15 and 24.
  • 1,200 presented alone without a partner or children.
  • Almost 900 had no income when they first came to see us.

Homelessness has many different faces.   Unlike the overt homelessness we may see in cities across Australia, in Yarram and other small rural communities it’s often hidden and presents as families experiencing family violence who need to leave their home, young people staying with friends due to family conflict, people ‘couch surfing’ or transit homelessness.

If you know someone that is experiencing homelessness or needs support with their housing please ask them to contact Housing Support Program on 1800 934 722.