Addressing homelessness in Maitland
Earlier this week I attended a launch event for the Vinnies Community Sleepout, which is scheduled for Thursday 30 August at Maitland Gaol.
The launch gave me pause to stop and reflect on homelessness around Maitland and think about how crucial it is that we work to address the issue as a community. Maitland is a diverse and vibrant place to live but there are people that really do it tough and live on the fringe. These people need our help and we should, where possible, help out.
In attendance during the week were representatives from Vinnies and other organisations and groups that have shown real interest in tackling this issue head on in Maitland. It was great to speak with everyone and talk to them about what they’ve been doing to address the issue. I was especially excited to hear from the president at Hunter Homeless Kathy Bowe who gave a good rundown of the nature of homelessness in Maitland right now. She spoke about how tough it is for those living on welfare and how difficult it can be to actually find work and ultimately move into a home. She talked about rental prices in Maitland and the importance of understanding these social issues. Kathy has been doing great work and I am so glad Hunter Homeless is in her very capable hands.
Vinnies are once again behind the sleepout event this year and I am always blown away by what that organisation can achieve, largely on the back of volunteers. Congratulations to them.
I’m excited, if not a little nervous, to take part myself on 30 August but I know it’s all for a good cause. If you’re willing to donate I’d really appreciate it. Link here.