Vinnies support centres expect winter deluge

The St Vincent de Paul Society in Queensland is expecting that, as winter starts to bite, its support centres will be inundated with requests for help from vulnerable members of the community.

In a statement released yesterday, Vinnies Queensland said that no other group suffers more in winter than the homeless and as the temperature plummets, the demand for accommodation increases.

"Both the Buranda and Inala Support Centres are regularly called upon to cover the cost of emergency shelter, to provide blankets as well as money for power bills and medical prescriptions."

Buranda Support Centre Coordinator, Ellen Fogarty, estimates that last year the Centre assisted 25% more people than the average. She predicts demand will be even higher this year. "We have to stock up on sleeping bags, blankets, new socks and beanies for people who live on the streets and for families who can't afford their own," she said.

Inala Centre Coordinator, Sue Lannen, said demand for assistance in Inala has also been increasing and without community support this winter she fears the Centre might be forced to turn people away.

"Many homes in this area don't have floor coverings - last winter I saw four families who couldn't pay their power bill because they had turned on the oven to heat up the house," she said.

The centre helps out with basic necessities - like shoes for kids who have none and medical costs.

"When asthmatic kids get cold they get sick and we have to help their parents out because they can't afford to fill prescriptions," she said.

Both Support Centres welcome donations of blankets and canned soup. The national tollfree telephone number for the St Vincent de Paul Society Winter Appeal is 13 18 12.

Vinnies Support Centres overrun during winter (St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland 6/6/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Vincent de Paul Society
Charity heads into its busy season (Launceston Examiner 10/5/05)

Vinnies says Senator Patterson is "in denial" (CathNews 2/6/05)
Vinnies Victoria to launch Winter Appeal (CathNews 25/5/05)
Sydney Lord Mayor launches Vinnies' winter appeal (CathNews 18/5/05)

Vinnies and the hands of love (Catholic Weekly 5/6/05)

7 Jun 2005