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Midland MLA Michelle Roberts, Indigo Junction chief executive Sharon Gough and board member Ron Mell.

Grant to support struggling families

By Claire Ottaviano

A $60,000 Lotterywest grant is helping to support Midland and surrounding families under financial stress.

The grant will help Indigo Junction continue to provide invaluable support for youth homelessness, families, individuals and the wider community.

Indigo Junction chief executive Sharon Gough said the not-for-profit was experiencing unprecedented demand for services.

“The Karnany Resource Centre on Spring Park Road has seen about 750 per cent increase in demand in the last two years and that’s growing,” she said.

“In terms of people in crisis, we’re getting 15 new people seeking help each week that’s about 40 per cent of clients in the last year.

“Our demand consistency exceeds our capability… right now the phone is ringing hot.”

As well as providing affordable housing, the team works around prevention, offering financial counselling and services.

“We’re working with the community to give them a hand-up not a hand-out,” Ms Gough said.

“We provide a program around emergency relief to meet their basic and immediate needs and try to redirect clients away from future crisis.

“We focus on prevention of homelessness by working with them around a budget while providing support around paying the bills like electricity so they can keep paying the rent.”

The spike in demand has also taken a toll on staff, who are always working towards improved outcomes for the community.

“As an organisation we’ve been working on long term solutions, focusing on new ways to help the current crisis,” Ms Gough said.

“What I’d like to see is re-purposing of buildings in Midland, looking at what we’ve got currently in this location and what we can re-purpose in partnership with the Department of Communities.

“Spring Park Road is experiencing incredible demand, that site is at capacity and we need to secure another premises.”

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