Homelessness is on the rise in Toowoomba and services are struggling to keep up with demand.
Homelessness is on the rise in Toowoomba and services are struggling to keep up with demand. KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Warwick homeless service hit with influx from nearby city

WARWICK is becoming the next port of call for increasing numbers of homeless people who are struggling to find accommodation and support services in Toowoomba.

High rental prices and the recent closure of three major budget accommodation options could be behind a spike in people from the Toowoomba area accessing support services in Warwick.

The Lighthouse Community Centre in Warwick has reported an rise in people from Toowoomba who are visiting the Guy St charity for help with food and clothes.

Volunteer Stan Fletcher said people in homeless situations may be looking to Warwick for work and cheap accommodation.

"I am not sure if they are staying in Warwick or going back - they just come in and get their food and bread and go, they don't divulge too much information," Mr Fletcher said.

But a social worker from the BASE Soup Kitchen in Toowoomba said crisis services in the city were overwhelmed as homelessness continued to rise.

Tiffany Spary said the lack of affordable accommodation was a huge problem in Toowoomba and people were starting to look outside the city for options.

 

Lighthouse volunteers Stan Fletcher, Johannes Spijkers, Daphne Porter, Michael Burgess, Jade Fletcher and Jess King.
Lighthouse volunteers Stan Fletcher, Johannes Spijkers, Daphne Porter, Michael Burgess, Jade Fletcher and Jess King. Marian Faa

"In rural areas the rental prices are a lot less so people start to look at places outside Toowoomba which are cheaper, I hear that a lot," Mrs Spary said.

"I have heard people say there are so many cheap units available in Warwick, someone came to the BASE and told me that the other day."

Ms Spary said the Norville Pub in Toowoomba was undergoing renovations and the Metropole Hotel and Helidon Spa had closed.

"We have lost a lot of facilities," she said.

Mrs Spary is currently conducting a Homelessness Sleep Out in Toowoomba to raise money and awareness for Homelessness Week, which began today.

Tonight, 90 people from the community will camp in the street overnight in solidarity with the city's homeless population.

Ms Spary said the BASE Soup Kitchen also provided assistance to people from Warwick.

To support the cause visit: https://homelessforaweek.com.au/



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