Vinnies have kicked off their 2021 Winter Appeal, calling for donations to support the rising numbers of Canberrans experiencing homelessness and financial hardship.
Providing vital services for individuals and families, Vinnies is calling for contributions to help children experiencing homelessness sleep safe this winter.
Launching the Vinnies Winter Appeal on 4 May, national president Claire Victory said that historically, low wages and cuts to income support, coupled with rising house prices and the decline in affordable rental accommodation, were pushing more families into homelessness.
“This has been exacerbated by the economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Victory said.
“We rely on the generous contributions from our community, this is why we are calling for donations that can help support those in need during this challenging time of the year.”
According to Vinnies, each night over 25,000 children are experiencing homelessness across the country.
John Feint, president of the St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn, said if you add the increased rental prices in Canberra to the equation, then you will find “many families in our community forced to make the difficult decision of choosing whether to provide a meal to their children, pay rent, or pay their energy bill so they can stay warm”.
“More and more Australian children are being forced into homelessness,” Mr Feint said.
“As the nights get longer and the temperature drops, the need in our community is growing. Our volunteers are being called on more than ever to support families in need. It is heartbreaking.”
The money raised from the Winter Appeal will provide the emotional and financial assistance that struggling families need to hang on to their tenancies and maintain a secure environment for their children.
The donations will help Vinnies provide warm blankets, clothing, a meal, or ensure that a family facing homelessness has a safe place to sleep.
“With your help, we can provide financial support on a one-on-one basis for people seeking assistance. As well as food hampers and grocery vouchers to reduce hunger, we can assist people to pay for utility bills and unexpected expenses, providing dignity and relief to those struggling this season,” Mr Feint said.
“We rely on the generous contributions from our community; this is why we are calling for donations that can help support those in need during this challenging time of the year.”
To donate, visit vinnies.org.au/winterappeal or call 13 18 12.
For more Community:
- Dance for sick kids this May
- Purls of wisdom: knitting for a cause
- Meet Sue Webeck: New CEO of the ACT Domestic Violence Crisis Service
- 15 years living in a refugee camp, now on a mission for love