THE Port’s leading provider for homelessness services is calling on the community to judge less and learn more about the issue during Homelessness Prevention Week.
Colleen Whittle, manager of Port Stephens Family and Neighbourhood Service, said homelessness had many faces.
“Financial strife, family breakdown, domestic violence, job loss and illness are all factors to homelessness,” she said.
Ms Whittle added that in Port Stephens, affordability of housing played a big factor in homelessness, as well as availability.
Port Stephens Family and Neighbourhood Service is funded by the state government to provide homelessness support services.
On average, the Raymond Terrace-based service sees 50 new people each month through its early intervention and homelessness program.
Between November 1, 2014, and July 31, 2015, 380 people had received some level of assessment or support through the program.
“We met our yearly statistics in five months,” the program team leader Ann Fletcher said.
Homelessness Prevention Week, which runs until Sunday, encourages people to step up to make a difference in the lives of their community’s most vulnerable.
Ms Whittle said donations of goods were welcome, as was food and services.
Business owners who could offer services such as electrical work or plumbing, to help maintain the 12 properties used for transitional housing, or donations of food to its relief programs could phone 4987 1331.
Port Stephens property owners are also being asked to get in touch to discuss head leasing options with the service to help accommodate those in need.
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