This week UnitingCare West officially launched its 2015 Winter Appeal at the Warehouse Café in Shenton Park.
Over 70 guests including the Hon. Helen Morton MLC, Minister for Mental Health and Disability Services, the Hon. Stephen Dawson MLC, Shadow Minister for Disability Services and Mental Health attended the event.
UnitingCare West Chief Executive Officer, Sue Ash AO spoke about the aim of this year’s Appeal in raising $100,000 to help reduce homelessness for people living with disability or mental illness.
“The homeless population of Perth is approaching 10,000 people and many of the clients that seek assistance through UnitingCare West homelessness services also live with a disability, a mental illness and sometimes both. We are seeing people with more complex needs than ever seeking our support,” Ms Ash said.
Minister Morton praised the ongoing commitment and work of UnitingCare West in delivering support services to the most vulnerable West Australians, acknowledging that the State Government is strongly committed to helping address the homelessness problem.
The moment of the evening was a speech from Josh, a client of UnitingCare West’s homelessness services who shared his experience of being homeless and facing mental health challenges.
Josh spoke about losing his friend Kurt to a drug overdose and the severe difficulties he has suffered as a result of being homeless. There was a poignant moment when Josh asked those in attendance if they knew the real Perth, insisting a night with him will give anyone a real insight into what life is like for Perth’s homeless population.
Josh also mentioned that with the support of UnitingCare West, he is now in the process of completing a TAFE qualification in Community Services and getting his life back on track.
The event also premiered a short video highlighting UCW’s homelessness services and raising awareness of the plight of homeless people across Perth. The video provided a powerful message and a focus on the need for the West Australian community to work together to help those most in need.
The UnitingCare West Winter Appeal runs throughout June, July and August 2015 to raise much needed funds to support those sleeping rough on the streets of Perth during the coldest months of the year. Just $25 pays for a person’s breakfast for five days at Tranby Day Centre for the homeless. We also collect items such as sleeping bags, sturdy blankets, jackets and jeans.
Anyone wishing to donate to UnitingCare West’s 2015 Winter Appeal can call 1300 663 298 or donate online here https://www.unitingcarewest.org.au/donate/
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