Tough times as winter approaches
AS you rug up this winter, spare a thought for those who are less fortunate on the Coffs Coast.
Our welfare agencies are dealing with a constant stream of people dropping in and asking for help and their numbers are on the rise.
The call is now going out for residents to supply blankets, doonas, jumpers, jackets and other warm clothing along with non-perishable food for needy families.
Tarpaulins, tents and sleeping bags are also needed to help homeless people beat the chill.
The Salvation Army’s welfare and community services manager in Coffs Harbour, Diane Walters, said she’d seen three or four new clients a day on average for the past two months and many of them were new arrivals here.
“We’ve been inundated by people needing our help. They’re feeling the pinch with no work around,” Mrs Walters said.
“They think they’re going to get work here but there’s no full-time jobs.
“Mainly we’ve been seeing single males but we have had families, too.”
It’s a similar picture at LifeHouse Care, where co-ordinator Carol Sleep has seen a big jump in people through her doors since the middle of last year.
“They’re people who have lost their jobs, are struggling with electricity bills, and generally finding it tough to make ends meet,” Mrs Sleep said.
“We’re seeing the hardship of increased rents from a lack of rental properties and those trying to meet ongoing costs.”
Mortgage stress in a climate of climbing interest rates is another factor causing headaches for many families.
Local welfare organisations were keenly watching last night’s Federal Budget to assess the impact on those in their care.