Centacare walk for homelessness boosts awareness of Ballarat's confronting reality

Centacare staff took to the streets on Friday afternoon to raise awareness of homelessness in the Ballarat community.

COMMUNITY AWARENESS: Centacare staff walked from Peplow House to their Peel Street office on Friday, handing out Winter Resource Packs to businesses and those sleeping rough. The walk was in recognition of Homelessness Week to raise awareness and build community support. Picture: Lachlan Bence

COMMUNITY AWARENESS: Centacare staff walked from Peplow House to their Peel Street office on Friday, handing out Winter Resource Packs to businesses and those sleeping rough. The walk was in recognition of Homelessness Week to raise awareness and build community support. Picture: Lachlan Bence

The compassionate group of around 18 people walked from Peplow House to Centacare’s head office as part of the Street Walk for Homelessness. 

They carried boxes filled with winter resources like beanies, hand warmers, socks and blankets, and distributed them to local businesses. 

An information card detailed ways to support someone in crisis – encouraging community members to be sensitive to the person’s situation and contact a support agency like Centacare or Uniting Ballarat for assistance.

The reality is that we are experiencing people on the street who have no where else to go.

Virginia Louey, Centacare Ballarat

Centacare Ballarat manager of NDIS, homelessness and advocacy, Virginia Louey said providing businesses and community members with resources and knowledge would increase assistance to those in need at one of the coldest times of the year. 

“One of the owners of a shop on Sturt Street said he knew someone who came in regularly who was struggling and was going to be able to give this a man a resource kit,” she said. 

“For a lot of people in the broader community, homelessness can be quite confronting. The reality is that we are experiencing people on the street who have no where else to go, but a lot of people don’t quite know what they can do to help.”

Ms Louey said linking someone experiencing hardship to a support service like Centacare was a ‘crucial’ first step.

Community members can also check to see if they have a winter resource pack and make sure they are aware of other community services like the Shower Bus, The Soup Bus, Breezeway Meals Program and Anglicare Breakfast Program. 

Those experiencing homelessness or hardship can contact Centacare on 5337 8999 or visit the Peel Street office.

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