Hunter Homeless Connect receive local support for directory initiative

Hunter Homeless Connect receive local support for directory initiative

A local business is putting its best foot forward to ensure a vital Hunter directory of support services for people at risk of/or experiencing homelessness gets out to those who need it most.

Broadmeadow based, Sharp Office has funded the printing of a 108 page directory which contains details of local support services for these individuals to refer to.

Hunter Homeless Connect (HHC) Project Coordinator and Compass Housing’s Community Relations Manager, Michelle Faithfull said the directory is normally distributed at the organisation’s annual Hunter Homeless Connect Day event, but this has not been held due to the pandemic.

Michelle said the HHC Committee were experiencing troubles keeping up with demand for printed copies of the resource.

When Sharp’s Managing Director, George Tuntevski got wind of the issue he offered to print 2,000 copies of the directories free of charge.

“That same week, we received a request from Cessnock Correctional Centre for 1,000 directories,” Michelle said.

“We are hearing that many people who are released from prison have nowhere to go and have no idea where to find support.

“Printing costs quite a bit of money and, as a small not for profit, HHC really appreciated the generous assistance.”

She said people experiencing homelessness have been particularly vulnerable during the pandemic and need support more than ever. The directory also helps service providers to connect with each other.

“An increased number of people in our community have also lost their jobs due to COVID-19 restrictions and many are now at risk of homelessness,” she said.

“They face hardship and have no idea where to find support. They will also bear the impact of local support services being affected by funding uncertainty, reduced volunteers and staffing availability.”

The directory contains information on crisis contacts, clothing, emergency relief, healthcare, housing, food providers, domestic violence, refugee services, drug, alcohol and gambling services, financial support, mental health, and pet care.

There are specific sections for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with a disability, and young individuals.

A PDF copy is also available on the Hunter Homeless Connect website.

The directory is not exhaustive, and organisations are welcomed to send updates.

IMAGE | Hunter Homeless Connect (HHC) Project Coordinator and Compass Housing’s Community Relations Manager, Michelle Faithfull and Sharp’s Managing Director, George Tuntevski (left-right).

Hunter Homeless Connect

Home matters. Help matters. Hope matters.

Hunter Homeless Connect (HHC) is a not for profit organisation working to build an inclusive community with zero judgement.

Supported by a community coalition of government and non-government services and volunteers, HHC supports people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

Initially founded by community services volunteers in 2009, HHC holds an annual Connect Day where people can access a one-stop-shop of services, including free haircuts, massages, immunisations, birth certificates, bedding, phone cards, food, and clothing. Its popular Community Directory of Services is handed out at each event but is now distributed ongoing and is available online.

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