4000 LUNCHES. 500 HAIRCUTS. 100 SERVICES. THOUSANDS OF DONATIONS. ONE DAY. ONE PLACE. FREE TO ALL HOMELESS.
10am – 3pm Sydney Homeless Connect 2014 Sydney Town Hall, 3rd June.
On Tuesday 3rd June, Sydney Homeless Connect will take over the iconic Sydney Town Hall for the 5th annual day of free service for thousands of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
With the support of over 100 donor organisations and specialist homeless services, the community driven homeless event offers everything from dental checks and counselling to haircuts, flu shots and a hot hearty meal, to help with paperwork, applying for a job or obtaining legal advice.
Sydney Homeless Connect combines a full-range of desperately needed goods and services to Sydney’s homeless in a powerful day of support. “For most of our guests, they are struggling to access the resources they need,” said Sydney Homeless Connect Co-Founder Andrew Everingham. “Often times, they are not aware of what options are available or how to reach trusted professionals who can help them.”
According to Sydney Homeless Connect Co-Founder Peter Durie, “When people find themselves homeless or at risk of being homeless, they face challenges not only financially, but also mentally. Coming to Sydney Homeless Connect gives them a safe place to reach the help they need.”
During the past four years of organising the event, Andrew and Peter have noticed a growing trend of guests who do not appear to resemble the common stereotype of a homeless person. The organisation refers to this unique group as the, ‘hidden homeless’. Durie explains, “the hidden homeless are the thousands of unlikely people who are sleeping couch-to-couch or in their car every night. These people stay with friends, friends of friends, or with anyone willing to offer them a warmer and safer option than sleeping rough on the street.”
“The ‘hidden homeless’ face different needs than the homeless sleeping rough on the street. They might have a shower to use or somewhere to cook some food, but they still lack stability and security. Many of them are only one night away from sleeping rough on the street with the rest of the guests who need help from our community,” said Everingham.
When government and non-government organisations connect to collaboratively offer a helping hand to Sydney’s homeless, it creates a positive and memorable impact for all involved.
Minister for Communities and Citizenship Victor Dominello, who attended the Opening Ceremony, said “NSW is proudly home to over two million volunteers and this initiative demonstrates the power of volunteers and community organisations to make a difference to lives of the most vulnerable through simple acts of generosity.”