St Vinnies are still here to help
In a crazy year where it is normal to keep at a long arm’s length from others, some things remain the same.
The St Vincent de Paul Society which runs the affectionately known “Vinnies” Op Shop, is still reaching out to those in need.
President of the Noosa-Tewantin branch of the society Beryl Rowan is keen for people to know that while the Society’s Family Support Centre in Eumundi Rd, Noosaville, is closed temporarily, the work of the Centre that supports the needy, lonely and isolated carries on.
“The pandemic offers us a new way to reach out to people and delivering a lot of food parcels means we are getting to know the area much better,” Beryl said.
“Instead of seeing people at the support centre, Vincentians are keeping touch with them by phone and arranging meetings in the open air.
“They are not only helping those affected by the lockdown and loss of jobs, but also offer continued support for families, individuals and the homeless.
“Outreach and advocacy are important parts of what we do,” she said.
Beryl said many people feel isolated and we keep in contact with them.
“Others need advice and we offer help to anybody who is struggling to deal with issues of electricity, housing or insurance. We can also help with form filling,” Beryl said.
Vincentians at the Family Support Centre know of various local resources and can refer people to appropriate services as well as arrange help with money matters and housing options.
They also offer help with child and adult education for those on low income who qualify.
“Your way out of poverty and into employment may be to do a course in aged care or forklift driving but the cost has stopped you. Apply to us and we may be able to help,” Beryl said.
St Vincent de Paul Society also supports the Hub – a one-stop shop for the homeless and needy on the coast.
The Hub operates from Tait-Duke Cottage, Earl St, Tewantin, on alternate Tuesdays from 10 to 12.30 and includes a medical service, housing advice, Services Australia (previously Centrelink), the Red Cross and other providers.
If you would like to be a part of assisting those who need a hand up, there are several ways you can help.
Food or financial donations are always welcome.
Or you could volunteer to work in the Vinnies Op Shop in Eumundi Rd, which helps fund the work of the St Vincent DePaul Family Support Centre. To inquire about joining an enthusiastic band of Vincentians in the Family Support Centre contact Beryl on 0400 956 146.