POP UP Shop for Homeless is working to secure a permanent shop front.
The volunteer initiative has been offered a location in Wendouree West for cheap rent, which would allow for a consistent space and time to help Ballarat residents most in need with free clothes, toiletries and food.
Pop Up Shop is fundraising for $6000 to move in and cover rent for at least the first six months.
For Pop Up Shop organiser Sarah Britten, this is an opportunity greater than she had ever expected when putting her idea into action in late 2014.
“This has all snowballed from the beginning with people’s support,” Ms Britten said. “To have a shop front we could open every day would be incredible. We’re not open regularly at the moment, only sporadic.
“...Ultimately we want people to be able to come in for free clothes and free kitchen items. May be with a washing machine and clothes dryer so we can wash and dry clothes for people out the back.”
Ms Britten said the proposed location would have easy access to buses to ensure people from across the region could find their way to the shop. She is planning regular opening hours with volunteers with the potential to be flexible to need.
Pop Up Shop already puts together care packages behind the scenes.
Community-donated goods and clothing is in the process of moving to one new combined storage facility. Pop Up Shop’s storage had been previously split between a Berry Street shed and in Ballarat Trades Hall. The Rotary Club Ballarat’s Young Ambition group led moving crews at the weekend.
Ms Britten said her goal was for anyone going for a job or trying to clean up their look to know there was a permanent place to clean clothes and new toiletries. From the start, she hoped the initiative would break down barriers about homelessness and encourage the community involvement.
Pop Up Shop’s appeal has collected about $500 in two weeks. Details, visit Pop Up Shop for Homeless and Those in Need – Ballarat on Facebook or GoFundMe page: www.gofundme.com/2732tnw8
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