Homeless people are being invited to connect with service providers at a special gathering in Lismore on 4 August.
They will also be given a free haircut, clothing, toiletries and lunch.
Homelessness Connect Lismore is being held at The Winsome in Lismore from 10m-2pm.
The gathering involves a variety of local service providers who will be offering community health services, tenancy advice, housing help, legal aid and counselling.
There will also be drumming, live music and giveaways.
Organisers have asked that donations of blankets and towels, warm jackets, non-perishable food and new socks and underwear can be dropped off at the Winsome Hotel, 11 Bridge Street, from 9am to 1pm in the days leading up to the event.
Homelessness Connect organizer Paul Murphy from The Winsome & Lismore Soup Kitchen said it was important to connect people doing it tough with the right services.
‘So we are inviting anyone in our wider community to play a part. Come along and have a conversation, share in some of the fun activities and meet other community members’ Mr Murphy said.
‘There are multiple barriers obstructing people who are really homeless from mainstream services. Barriers such as lack of basic personal life skills and lacking access to transport or communication such as the internet; not having a regular address like those who are being forced to live on the riverbank because of shortage of suitable accommodation, or access to official documentation; and financial, medical and social barriers as well.
‘Days like these help to break down these barriers by bringing available services to the people who need them.
‘By making these links we hope to be able to provide ongoing assistance long after the day itself has ended.
‘We will have information about housing, the law, Centrelink and other community supports on hand.’
Homelessness Connect is being run this year in partnership with Northern Rivers Social Development Council, OTCP, North Coast Community Housing, The Winsome & Lismore Soup Kitchen, Salvation Army, Centrelink, Consortium of Neighbourhood Centres (CONC) and Connecting Home.
Homelessness Connect has been timed to coincide with Homelessness Prevention Week, an annual event used to raise awareness of homelessness and the surrounding issues.
Homelessness Prevention Week aims to:
- recognise the individuals and groups in the community who make a contribution to preventing, and ending homelessness
- raise community awareness and understanding of the causes and complexities of homelessness, and the effect it has
- increase community connections for those experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness
- increase community understanding and connections for those working with people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness