Banding together to help the homeless, and you can help too
JODI Morris and the team at Community Lifestyle Support know how bad homelessness is the region and fear with the ramifications of Covid-19, it will only get worse.
One step towards helping homeless people in the region have at least a little comfort is by providing them with emergency beds that offer comfort and some protection from the elements.
Today, she joined other members of Community Lifestyle Support, Angels Community Group and Burnett MP Stephen Bennett to call for donations for a program to deliver portable sleeping beds to the region's homeless.
And there's an extra activity attached.
"Today we're talking about Camp Out for a Cause, it's an event I've created to raise funds for backpack beds for the homeless," she said.
Ms Morris has just completed a Diploma of Community Development and said she wanted to be proactive in the community.
After doing some research, she found shocking statistics on homelessness in the region.
"There's over 1500 homeless in the Wide Bay area," she said.
"Bundaberg itself has over 340. Females make up 44 per cent of that homeless rate so these are both staggering and truly heartbreaking statistics so I wanted to do something to be able to help them out."
Ms Morris has joined with Backpack Beds Australia, who manufacture the lightweight portable beds, and Angels Community Group.
Each backpack bed costs $110, and for each $110 raised, the charity will have a local camp out at the Community Lifestyle Support grounds and experience homelessness first-hand.
One of the locals getting involved is Mr Bennett, who says if funds are raised for at least 10 backpack beds, he'll get out beneath the stars.
Mr Bennett said homelessness does not discriminate and today it's more important than ever we do what we can to help.
"Every two hours, one backpack bed is given to someone sleeping rough, but the need is every 12 minutes," he said.
"The most recent data from the 2016 Census revealed more than 116,000 Australians had no home on census night, that was up five per cent from 2011.
"Today we're in the middle of a pandemic, Queensland's unemployment rate is sky-high and the future is looking bleak for many.
"That's why I'm asking the generous community of Bundaberg and the Burnett for help."
Gail Mole from Angels Community Group said they wanted to help the project as part of their efforts to help improve life for those who are homeless.
"Dignity is a big thing, and homelessness is a big thing in Bundaberg," she said.
Ms Mole said it was important for local community groups and people in the region to work together to help the hundreds of homeless in Bundaberg.
All donations will be stay in the Bundaberg and Burnett region though the Angels Community Group.
To donate, give to:
Account name: Oldies Angels Inc
BSB: 633 000
Account number: 170 151 203