This Homelessness Week, HBNC acknowledges the many local organisations and individuals we partner with, to address the issue of homelessness in our region. HBNC is not a specialised homelessness service provider, so we could not be as effective without the support of people like John Dearden.

John is the founder of Streetworks - part of Kindness Works, a new charity in partnership with Hervey Bay Baptist Church. Read about the work John does and what he would like to see change in the homelessness support space.

Provide a brief summary of the work you do in the homelessness space.

Kindness Works (Streetworks) provides a hot breakfast, hot drink (coffee tea hot chocolate) clothing, blankets swags etc for people who are in need, homeless as well as the marginalised.

What drew you to work with people experiencing homelessness and other housing issues?

We were drawn to do this when we heard the need around the Torquay area. 

From your experience, what are the key issues contributing to homelessness in our region?

The key issues are varied. Broken homes, abuse, drugs alcohol, no rentals, unemployment and mental health are some of the issues faced. 

What are some existing services/options you want more people to be aware of?

Service options and referrals to mental health, medical and dental, working with the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre (HBNC), counselling centres etc is something we would like to connect with more. It helps, knowing what is available to help the people we connect with. 

What are some solutions you would like to see put in place to address the issue of homelessness in our region?

Solutions to the problems people are dealing with is complex, but the need for accommodation is paramount for the health and wellbeing of the individuals, people living in cars, tents swags, exposed to the weather for weeks, months, maybe even years is a miserable existence.

Small houses, dongers, caravans, providing short-term and long-term accommodation needs to be actioned by local and state governments.