Gold Coasters are being called upon to help more than 1700 locals experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
It’s the 12th year that local charity Gold Coast Homeless Connect has run its donation drive ahead of the major event scheduled for 7 August.
The organisation is calling for clothing, toiletries, non-perishable food and food vouchers to support those sleeping rough or at risk of doing so this winter.
“I came from middle class and fell further than rock bottom – I never thought this would happen to me, but homelessness can happen to anyone,” says Southport resident Wendy Tran, sharing first-hand how life-changing these donations are.
Wendy left home at 17 years of age due to family domestic violence. Despite working hard to advance her career she was made redundant at 33. She found herself homeless twice in 2014 and 2016.
Wendy moved into a Horizon Housing property earlier this year with her four-year-old son.
“I am forever grateful for support agencies and charities like the Gold Coast Homelessness Network,and companies like Horizon Housing for helping my son and I obtain accommodation.”
The Gold Coast Homeless Connect event encourages the Gold Coast homeless community, or those at risk of homelessness, to attend the event on Wednesday 7 August to receive donations and access a range of services, including haircuts, health check-ups, pet vaccinations, allied health services, housing solution advice and more.
Gold Coast Homeless Connect chairperson, Mona Nielsen, said stories like Wendy’s were not uncommon.
“Year round, we provide a wide range of allied health and wellbeing services to Gold Coast locals, as well as services to help some of our most vulnerable community members get a head start in housing or employment,” Mona said.
“The donations received during the drive make a huge difference to our guests on the day – for many, food, clothing, shoes, toiletries, support information and someone to chat to regarding their individual needs, is what they need to take a step towards the life they are looking for.”
Donations for the 12th annual Gold Coast Homeless Connect event can be dropped off at collection points across the Coast, including the Horizon Housing office in Robina, Metricon Stadium in Carrara and ABC Gold Coast in Mermaid Beach.