This month the Complete Parts and @ The Coalface $500 Community Gift goes to Upper Hunter Homeless Support (UHHS), an organisation dedicated to providing specialist homelessness and domestic family violence services.
For over 30 years UHHS has been providing homelessness and domestic violence services to the Upper Hunter community, operating a “no wrong door” policy which allows everyone to use their service.
We visited their new premises located at 3 Wilkinson Avenue, Muswellbrook and sat down with General Manager Mary Spora to find out more about what they do.
Mary told us how the Upper Hunter is currently experiencing a housing crisis and as a result they are being inundated with people needing their help.
“What we are seeing is that because of the high rental prices and the demand for rental properties, as well as the increasing cost of living, people are losing rental tenancies through no fault of their own,” said Mary.
For those that are experiencing homelessness, UHHS provides a range of services such as temporary housing, a women’s and children refuge and transitional accommodation with short and medium term leases. But Mary explained that a huge part of what they do is providing support before homelessness occurs.
“What many people don’t realise is that a lot of the work we are focused on is around preventing homelessness and not just working with people who are experiencing homelessness.
“There are many ways we can help in both the short term and the long term. From housing, assistance from financial advisors on things like budgeting and payment plans, case workers who can provide support and help you navigate services, to financial assistance which might be helping with fuel to get to work or things like food and clothing. We can also connect people to other services and advocate for them.”
The UHHS office is open from 9.30am to 4.00pm Monday to Friday and Mary gave us a tour of their new facilities. It has a chill out area, showers, laundry and kitchen and Mary said they have a lot of exciting plans for more in the future. Above all, visitors are guaranteed to be met with a welcoming smile when they walk in the door.
UHHS relies heavily on the generosity of the community and there’s plenty of ways we can all show our support. Practical donations such as bedding and kitchen supplies are welcomed – though remember don’t donate anything you wouldn’t want to receive yourself. Cash donations can be made through their website and Mary also said that gift cards are a fantastic way to donate.
“Being able to give someone a fuel card to get to work or a shopping gift card so they can purchase new clothing can make the world of difference, so these types of donations are a great way to help.”
Lastly, Mary shared one other important thing that we can all do.
“Be more aware. If someone in your circle is struggling, getting that little bit of help early can often make all the difference. We are here to help you with whatever you need to keep you in your home.”
|To find out more about Upper Hunter Homeless Support go to https://www.upperhunterhomelesssupport.org/ or call (02) 6542 5051.|
|As part of the Naidoc Week celebrations, UHHS and Muswellbrook Council will be holding a free event on Friday July 8 at Muswellbrook Simpson Park. Starting at 10am with mural painting with Richie from Budbuddha Dreaming, then a bush tucker BBQ at midday, everyone is welcome to come along!|