The aim had been to double the fundraising efforts of last year for the local SHIFT Project that supports women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness at the pre-loved clothing sale in Byron on 5 September. But organisers and SHIFT Project members were blown away to raise $11,000, more than doubling their previous effort.
‘It was fantastic,’ said organiser Leslie Ford. ‘It was the second year and people really wanted to donate. There were also many people who would not normally come to a second-hand clothing sale and were there to support this local charity. People love to be able to give back to their community and know where the money goes.
‘It is for the SHIFT project a local charity for women at risk of homelessness and people were saying “it’s $35? Here’s $40”.’
Founder and managing director of the SHIFT Project Anne Goslett was thrilled saying it would help the project continue to support women in positive and constructive ways.
‘They raised $11,003.80 in four hours – isn’t that unbelievable?’ she said.
Ms Goslett said that the money would be split between the education program and the Linen SHIFT program that is a social enterprise laundry with a conscience.
‘The Linen SHIFT program is an industrial laundry that provides a supported working environment for women in the area. We are about to employ an extra four women, three single ladies and one woman who can work only during school hours. It is a program designed to support mums that have children and the hours they can work as well as women struggling to enter the workforce.’
The money raised will assist the education program to help women access technology to support them with the changes the COVID-19 has had as well as being used to support women who are seeking ongoing education through TAFE etc.
Increase funding helped people get into housing
‘At the moment the ladies are in a better place because of the jobseeker increases, but when jobseeker drops again that will mean there will be holes in the service provision,’ said Ms Goslett.
‘The government changes temporary accommodation (TA) during the COVID-19 crisis meant that homeless people’s TA went from two days to 30 days. They were able to more effectively find people housing during that time. There have been over 100 people housed during that time. However, now it is back to two days and this will make it more difficult to get housing etc. With the extra funding it was so much more effective at getting people housed rather than just the two day crisis response.’