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Directory to help those struggling through pandemic


People experiencing homelessness across the Hunter now have a new resource to turn to for help.

Not-for-profit organisation, Hunter Homeless Connect is distributing a printed directory which contains details of support services around the region.

Hunter Homeless Connect’s Connecting the Hunter Coordinator Nissa Phillips says the resource will help those in crisis.

“It’s a directory of local information to connect people to crisis support services with COVID specific updates,” she says.

“It will direct them to local services who can help deal with their needs, things like food relief and domestic or family violence support services.”

People can use the directory to find services that provide emergency relief, healthcare, housing, food, domestic violence support, refugee services and more.

There are also specific sections for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people living with disability and youth.

The service normally distributes the guide at its annual Hunter Homeless Connect Day, but the event has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Coordinator Michelle Faithfull says it is still uncertain if the event will go ahead, so they are prioritising supporting the community.

“An increased number of people in our community have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 restrictions and many are now at risk of homelessness,” she says.

“They face hardship and have no idea where to find support.

“They will also bear the impact of local support services being affected by social distancing restrictions.”

Orica has funded the initial printing of 2000 copies of the directory and a PDF version is also available on the Hunter Homeless Connect website.

The guide will be distributed across the Hunter and the group hopes the community will help spread the word.

Founded in 2009, Ms Phillips says the not-for profit is a “community response to homelessness”.

Its Connecting the Hunter program connects those experiencing homelessness to services and people in the community who would like to donate their goods, facilities and services without judgment.

Go to the Hunter Homeless Connect website for more information.

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