Homelessness in the Nambucca Valley: Craft Group knits beanies for Hope for the Homeless and ReConnect Services Nambucca Valley Nambucca Valley News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - August 2, 2021 The BIG4 Craft group with Operations Manager Mark Tanner from Hope for the Homeless. HOMELESSNESS Week runs from 1-7 August 2021 and is a great time to think about what can be done for the homeless in our area. Nambucca Heads Big 4 Craft Group presented Mr Mark Tanner, Operations Manager for Hope For The Homeless (HFTH) with 67 knitted beanies on Tuesday 20 July. These beanies will go to the Hope and Treasures shop in Coffs Harbour and will be given away for free to those in need. “Hopefully they’ll go to the Nambucca homeless,” said Di Sheaves, the organiser of the Big 4 Craft Group. There was a Hope Shop located in Nambucca Heads which had to close recently owing to high rental costs which HFTH could not afford. In speaking with News Of The Area Di Sheaves, the organiser of the craft group, said that the members, “Decided that they needed a project, and all agreed that the idea of knitting beanies for the homeless was a great thing to do.” Hope for The Homeless is based in Coffs Harbour. The Hope Shops are stocked with donated goods, the sale of which goes back into the Hope For The Homeless charity. Hope For The Homeless is a 100% not-for-profit organisation set up by Mr Dean Evers five years ago with the aim to assist the homeless. They offer cheap clothing and goods to the homeless, and also help people to find secure housing by connecting them with agencies. The second-hand goods in the Hope shops are available for purchase for those who love to shop second hand, and know that their money is going to a good cause. News Of The Area asked Kas Hirst, Youth and Family worker for ReConnect Services about homelessness in the Nambucca Valley. “It is a huge issue in Nambucca Valley,” she said. “There are single mums living in cars, people sleeping under bridges. “Rentals are so hard to get with so many people applying for each place. “Even if they apply to the Department of Housing the waiting list is so long it is not going to help them.” ReConnect is working on an early intervention program with youth at the moment, in the hope that they can assist young people to stay at home rather than leave and sleep on the streets. “Many homeless are also couch surfing, so the number of homeless is not as visible as it would otherwise be.” If you are looking for ways to support people experiencing homelessness in the Valley, Ms Hirst said there was something that people could do locally. “If anyone has an unused caravan that they could donate we are looking for them at the moment to house the homeless. “It doesn’t have to be registered.” ReConnect does not have the funds to purchase caravans. “If the community could be understanding of the homeless, that would be great. “Please realise that the homeless are that way because life has thrown them a curveball.” Homelessness Australia has information regarding homelessness and ways to help at homelessnessaustralia.org.au. By Rachel MCGREGOR-ALLEN Hand knitted beanies.