Bathurst services working together to stop the cycle of homelessness

HERE TO HELP: Nikki Hemsley, Carolyn Welsh, Ange Brown, Bec Anderson and Danielle Annesley promoting Homelessness Awareness Week.

HERE TO HELP: Nikki Hemsley, Carolyn Welsh, Ange Brown, Bec Anderson and Danielle Annesley promoting Homelessness Awareness Week.

SERVICE providers working to prevent homelessness in the community will host a barbecue and information day at Wattle Tree House on Friday, August 11.

Ange Brown, team leader at Wattle Tree House, said the service will host the free event at its new office at 95 Rankin Street between 11am and 2pm.

Ms Brown said there will be a host of service providers people can speak with and encouraged everyone in the community to come and see what services are available to the homeless and those at risk of homelessness.

Ms Brown said Homelessness Awareness Week was a chance to promote local services, and make sure people in the community know there are people who can help.

“We want to educate the community; if there are people out there, or people know others who are having issues, there are services who can help.”

She said the sooner people speak up the better, and said Wattle Tree House aims to intervene and offer assistance before people become homeless.

“Our service works with both the homeless and people at risk of becoming homeless, but we try and get in early and address the issues before they are homeless,” she said.

“We look at the issues people are facing, and try and address them or put them in touch with other service providers who can help.”

Ms Brown said especially at this time of year people are struggling with the cost of living and are unable to pay their bills or rent.

Other issues people face are low incomes or family issues as well as the complexities of mental health, domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse.

Ms Brown said Friday’s barbecue was a chance for everyone in the community to come and talk with service providers and see what assistance is available to them.

“It’s a day of social interaction. People feel comfortable to come and talk and just touch base with other services,” she said.

“It’s always a great atmosphere and people can come and talk freely.”

She said Wattle Tree House is often a first port of call, and is a great point of contact for people.

“When people come to us they are assessed and a case manager is assigned to help,” she said.