‘Horrible’ effects of homelessness and poverty at the centre of 2017 LifeLink Winter Appeal
36 year old Rosario Murace told The eRecordabout his experience with homelessness. Through the help of The Shopfront, Rosario was able to get his life back on track, resuming a professional weightlifting career. In these final weeks of Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB’s LifeLink Winter Appeal for 2017, there is still hope that a minimum of $250,000 will be raised so that the level of support required to reach the increasing number of those on the fringes of our community can be achieved. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
By Jamie O’Brien and Josh Low
In 1987, then Prime Minister Bob Hawke promised to ensure that ‘By 1990, no Australian child will live in poverty.”
Thirty years later, in 2017, according to statistics published by Catholic Social Services Australia, 731,300 children or 17.4 percent of all children in Australia are living in poverty, an increase of two percentage points over the past 10 years (from 2004-2014).
In these final weeks of Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB’s LifeLink Winter Appeal for 2017, there is still hope that a minimum of $275,000 will be raised so that the level of support required to reach the increasing number of those on the fringes of our community can be achieved.
LifeLink Manager Brett Mendez reiterated the call of Archbishop Costelloe’s Winter Appeal in making a difference by standing up for the needy.
“With an increase in the number of people living in poverty, we urge anyone who is able to give to do so,” Mr Mendez said.
“Every gift is valued and valuable and we are grateful for every generous donation we receive to this important appeal.
“We still have a way to go in achieving our goal for this year; every dollar raised will help support the vital work of our LifeLink agencies,” he said.
Director of The Shopfront (one of the agencies supported by LifeLink), Damian Walsh, stated earlier this year that there has been up to a 30 percent increase in 2017 in the number of people coming to the agency for assistance.
“Without the financial support we would not be able to assist the increasing numbers of people coming to us for help,” he said.
“Many of those who come to us are caught in difficult situations, and looking for a safe place to be, to eat, or just to have someone to talk to.”
Last year alone, The Shopfront responded to 1,033 emergency calls for housing, distributed 1,289 bundles of clothing, 2,944 food hampers and 10,492 packages of take-away food, handed out 781 blankets to people living on the streets last winter, welcomed 947 homeless people to use the Centre’s shower facilities and saw some 900 volunteers offer support.
In an interview with The eRecord in July 2015, 36-year-old Rosario Murace spoke about his experience of homelessness.
“It was horrible, I felt like no one cared about me.
“Every day that I was on the streets, I would look at people going home, walk past the houses and I could smell the cooking and I’d think of how they have a place to relax,” Rosario said.
Through the help of The Shopfront, Rosario was able to get his life back on track, resuming a professional weightlifting career.
Your generous support of the Archbishop’s 2017 Winter Appeal for LifeLink ensures organisations like The Shopfront continue their mission of care to people most in need in the community.
Donors may contribute online via www.lifelink.com.au or by telephoning the LifeLink office on 6104 3600.