By Esther Lauaki
Housing support workers will be spreading some warmth as well as awareness about homelessness in the Macedon Ranges this week.
Cobaw Community Health Service will host a pop-up soup kitchen in Kyneton to coincide with Homelessness Week 2018, highlighting the need to achieve long-term solutions to “ending homelessness together”.
Cobaw acting housing team leader Justine Maher said she hoped the local initiative would make people in the ranges aware that homelessness is not just an issue in the city.
“On our books, we have 37 youth and about 50 other clients and we have a wait list of people who are trying to access housing service,” Ms Maher said.
“We’ve got people sleeping in cars and couch surfers and people who are sleeping rough right here in the Macedon Ranges.”
Chief executive Margaret McDonald said most people would be surprised by the
number of Australians who experienced homelessness.
“We encourage everyone to come along to our soup kitchen, not only to learn about homelessness in the Macedon Ranges, but to also enjoy a hot cup of soup,” Ms McDonald said.
Cobaw’s housing support team has managed more than 500 referrals from people looking for affordable housing in the past two years, 25 per cent were aged between 16 and 25 and the majority were young men.
According to Census data from 2016, there were 116,427 people in Australia classified as homeless, an increase from 102,439 in 2011.
The pop-up soup kitchen will be at the Lions Club kiosk in Mollison Street, Kyneton on Tuesday, August 7 between noon and 1pm.
with Bendigo Advertiser