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Community Meals Café volunteer Paul Krautsmann and Tuesday night manager David Skipworth.

More than just meals

RUNNING a weekly meal service is much more than just handing out food and groceries to those struggling to make ends meet, says volunteer David Skipworth.

As Homelessness Week August 1 to 7 approaches, the work of organisations like Dreambuilders Care, who run the free Community Meals Café in Midland, continue to keep essential services accessible to those in need.

But Mr Skipworth, who manages the meals café on Tuesday nights, said lending an ear is the most valuable service the organisation can provide.

“People don’t come just for the meal, they come for that connection with someone,” he said.

“They come for someone to talk to, who will sit and listen to their story and hear a bit about their journey and how they are going.”

“As a volunteer having a bit of head knowledge on where they can get help and sending them to those places is also important.”

One of those places is Midlas, a not-for-profit community organisation based in the heart of Midland.

Midlas is an accredited community legal centre and provides free services including tenancy advocacy, disability advocacy and financial counselling.

Senior tenant advocate Taryn Benn said a lack of housing, a hike in rent and mental health issues had contributed to an increased demand for homelessness support this year.

“There is a significant deficit of public housing available to people and a lack of rental properties partly due to the influx of people into WA from interstate,” she said.

“We are seeing more and more people that are unable to afford their rent and not because they are choosing to spend their money on other things.”

Ms Benn also said people having difficulty supporting themselves financially are up against others willing to pay more to secure a rental.

“People say ‘homeless people chose to be homeless’ but there are people currently in homelessness who have no other choice.”

By Morgan de Smidt

 

About The Editorial Team

Echo News gives readers an alternative to other media outlets in WA and enjoys a very high rate of readership in its distribution area. Our Echo News team are a small group of devoted individuals who work hard to give the local community an easy to read, yet intelligent mix of local community stories.

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