Street Swags help Homeless
Coordinating Club: Rotary Club of South Launceston
PP Les Grant (M): 0428 312 633 (W) 6331 2633 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The global economic crisis has seen a dramatic rise in the number of homeless people in Launceston, the Salvation Army says. With an estimated 2500 homeless across Tasmania , Salvation Army Launceston Captain Ric Ellis said he believed there were “easily 500 people” sleeping rough in Northern Tasmania. “We are certainly seeing a larger number of people accessing our services.”
Salvation Army Launceston Captain Ric Ellis said he believed the public did not comprehend the scale of the problem because it was often difficult to spot. “There are numerous people who sleep out in the streets right here in Launceston,” he said. “If you have a good look around even in the CBD you can see places where beds are made up.”
“It is everywhere, but it’s easy not to see it because people are not looking for it.”
(Launceston Examiner Dec 12 2009)
The Salvation Army in Launceston are running an outreach programme to homeless and lonely people. It operates three nights per week and provides a meal and an atmosphere aimed a building a sense of community for people who often lack this. The progression of this program is showing that the average age of homeless people accessing this program is becoming lower, the youngest so far being twelve years old.
Staff are encountering increasing violence from clients against persons and property. Under-age prostitution is an increasing problem – 10.3% of people accessing the service are homeless, living in cars, tents or squats. 13% of the clients live on the streets. 62 people in December were sleeping rough in Launceston.
Street Swags are assisting..
Captain Ellis said the recent donation of special sleeping bags, known as Street Swags, had been beneficial.
The Rotary Club of South Launceston has taken on the distribution of Street Swags which cost around $60 each (for bulk purchases) and are distributed through the Salvation Army who are keeping a register of the people receiving them.
Les Grant from the The Rotary Club of South Launceston is keen to see other Rotary Clubs join the programme so the supply of swags can be spread throughout Tasmania.
The Salvation Army in Launceston is already forwarding swags to Hobart and the North West Coast so demand is high and additional support is required. Hobart Rotary Clubs working together have delivered 100 swags distributed by the Salvation Army in 2013.
Les believes that this will be an ongoing project as there will always be people – young and old – who find themselves in this unfortunate position.
For more information about these swags check this website