News

Kind actions highlight plight of homeless

Vet staff rally to provide warmth and comfort to man living rough beside the Mary River.
Vet staff rally to provide warmth and comfort to man living rough beside the Mary River.

WHEN you go home tonight, spare a thought for those who will not open the door to a home-cooked meal, a heater and a warm bed.

The homeless throughout the Gympie region will close their eyes and try to spend another chilly night sleeping on a park bench.

Staff members at Gympie Veterinary Services not only spared a thought for the homeless.

They brought warmth to a man with no home.

On Wednesday morning, vet nurses Deb Davey, Nina Gear and cleaner Sandra McDonald noticed someone sleeping in a vacant block.

In the fog of a three-degree morning, he had only a backpack and a Coles bag to brave the cold.

The man had no blanket or jumper.

"He was freezing and he was blue, we thought he was dead," Ms Gear said.

After they warmed the man up with some toast and coffee, a hat was passed around and staff raised enough money to buy a swag and some extra food.

But the compassion did not end there.

When Ms Davey told Gympie Camping and Outdoor staff of the man's plight, the shop slashed $100 off the swag, which allowed her to buy him a sleeping bag.

"It didn't take much to help him; we just wanted him to be warm," Ms Davey said.

"When I took the swag up to him it was gold; he had the biggest smile.

"He was really, really appreciative."

Now wherever the man goes, he will carry with him a bed and a simple act of compassion.

It is more than others in the same situation have and Ms Gear said it was a timely reminder of a much bigger issue.

"A lot of people don't know about the homelessness in Gympie," she said.

"There are no facilities in Gympie (for homeless); it took nine phone calls to find someone who could help.

"You have to give every homeless person a chance - you don't know their situation."

Victory Church community pastor Kevin Dailly agreed with that sentiment.

Victory Church runs a street van to feed the homeless, and Pastor Dailly said each night they provided meals for about 18 people.

He said there was no emergency accommodation, at all, in Gympie and the closest facilities were based in Nambour and Maryborough.

He also said some kind of accommodation should be funded in the region.

"The government, in their wisdom, seem to think facilities in Maryborough and Nambour are enough," he said.

"There are quite a number of homeless on the streets in Gympie; there are 50 homeless that I know of.

"We need a facility that we can receive funding to purchase and manage to offer the homeless support."

With high unemployment rates and the increasing cost of living, Pastor Dailly said the situation would only get worse.

"We have seen a large increase in people purchasing our food hampers," he said.

"It gets worse week to week.

"It is a problem that is not being addressed."

Anyone requiring assistance can phone the Victory Church on 5482 8206 or 0417 724 542.

Donations of blankets and food can also be made at 1 Barter St.

Gympie Times

Topics:  editors picks, homeless, poverty, social justice, victory church




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'All I heard when my baby cried was ‘you’re a terrible mum'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

KATIE'S battle with PND is not unlike many mothers.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Where to vote in Wide Bay for the federal election today

GETTING IN EARLY: Election day is tomorrow, but many voters have had their say early.

25% of Wide Bay votes are already in. Here's where to vote today

Ghosts ride into pub

The Jockey Club Hotel circa 1910.  The building was replaced with a new brick building in 1996.

A history of the Jockey Club Hotel in Gympie

Historic Dickabram ‘bridging’ the generations

LOCAL WONDER: The only road/rail bridge still in use in Australia, Dickabram Bridge has been nominated as a heritage wonder for a National Trust publication celebrating Gympie’s 150th birthday next year.

Miva’s Dickabram Bridge is a true local 'wonder'

Latest deals and offers

Statement from Alexis Dean's family

Suzy Perissinotto reads a statement from the family of Alexis Dean

Hey Mumma

Mums talk to us about how they juggle work and kids.

Clive Palmer to re-open refinery

Clive Palmer on ABC radio.

Clive Palmer talks about his achievements, election chances and re-opening the...

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward