United in giv­ing

The Advocate (Perth) - - NEWS -

MICHAEL James is one of the 105,237 home­less peo­ple across Aus­tralia who will spend Christ­mas on the streets.

Mr James (50) has been home­less on and off for al­most 20 years, af­ter a re­la­tion­ship break-up left him with­out a home in 1998.

He is a reg­u­lar at Unit­ingCare West (UCW) Tranby in East Perth, which pro­vides food and ser­vice re­fer­rals.

“A street Christ­mas is never good,” he said.

“Or­gan­i­sa­tions give you food, but then you are back out on the street, it doesn't change.”

Mr James said shel­ter was the most dif­fi­cult thing to ac­cess when home­less.

UCW chief ex­ec­u­tive Amanda Hunt said the or­gan­i­sa­tion had kicked off its Christ­mas Ap­peal to help brighten the fes­tive sea­son for home­less peo­ple. Do­nate non-per­ish­able foods, socks and jocks, and un­wrapped gifts for peo­ple of all ages at the Christ­mas Ap­peal work­shop at Unit­ingCare West's Cen­tral Of­fice, 16 Sun­bury Road, Vic­to­ria Park. Pur­chase gift tag 'baubles' for $1 each at Tar­get stores. Do­na­tions at unit­ingcare west.org.au and click­ing on the 2017 Christ­mas Ap­peal link, or call 1300 663 298.

She said last year more than 850 gift packs and 1225 food ham­pers were dis­trib­uted to fam­i­lies and in­di­vid­u­als across Perth and the re­gions.

“This year we’ve seen a real spike in calls for as­sis­tance, so we’re call­ing on the peo­ple of Perth to play their part in help­ing us pre­pare and de­liver more than 1500 food ham­pers and at least 1000 gift packs for peo­ple of all ages,” Ms Hunt said.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d476836

Michael James is full of praise for Unit­ingCare West.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.