The sudden local need is eating away at us

The bushfires, coronavirus, economic downturn and sudden toilet paper drought have rightly focussed community attention but locally a wave of real need has quietly washed into our community and we find ourselves over our heads and out of our depth.

St Matthews Crisis Care deals with the practical needs of our own community. Our Retro Lane op shop with donations from individuals , families, schools service groups and organisations generates an income that provides food, emergency bedding, accommodation and help for people on the Border.

We support local government and non government welfare operations and also provide a place for homeless, disengaged people to come and receive professional mental health assistance as well as linking them to agencies to provide short and longterm pathways back into fulfilling community participation.

Engaging people on the fringe also assists in securing public safety and we strive to welcome all people 365 days a year but we are suddenly struggling.

It is an enormous worry that we have entirely run out of sleeping bags and swags just when the season is turning and the downturn in the economy has obviously hit those on low incomes harder than we could anticipate and we are struggling to keep up demand for basic food items that we give out every day.

Barbara Hoodless who runs our emergency foodroom speaks for our team when she said that the empty shelves are really eating away at us.

The national response to the bushfires has been magnificent, it speaks so highly of our community, people are understandably exhausted at being asked for help and the people we deal with are our own who are normally too crushed to yell out for a hand.

Do you think that our community could stretch to an extra tin or packet on the way through the checkout and drop it at St Matthews, or a clearout to donate to our op shop or the St Matthews fete in QE11 square between 10am and 2pm  on Saturday 14th March or if you’ve decided not to go camping can you spare a sleeping bag for a fellow traveller who might be in our own community quietly doing it tough.


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