As the weather gets colder, many generous people in our community are asking how they can help those who are less fortunate.

At least 100 people sleep rough on Hervey Bay streets every night, with many more lacking a permanent address or a safe place to stay.

The Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre is one of many local organisations and community groups dedicated to providing support to those who desperately need it.

Christian Berechree, HBNC Operations Manager, said many community programs relied on donations to keep going.

“This could be financial contributions or donations of food, goods and equipment,” Christian said.

“We do, however, have a number of programs members of the community can support that make a real difference in the lives of our community’s most vulnerable.”

These include Comfort Kitchen, HBNC’s free weekly community meal.

“We are always looking for volunteers and financial support to keep these meals going,” Christian said.

“Comfort Kitchen is fully self-funded, so without the generous support of the community, it simply could not continue.”

HBNC Program Support Officer, Natalie Keen, with donated toiletry items.

Christian said a particular need at the moment was toiletry items such as soap, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, moisturiser, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

These items are made available to people in need through the centre’s hot shower program.

Items can be dropped at the centre’s reception or placed in the Bless Box – a take-what-you-need donation box in the centre’s Kindness Garden.

Toiletries and non-perishable food can be placed in the Bless Box at any time.

Christian said while he understands people want to find ways to help, HBNC is not able to accept donations of clothing, tents and other bulky items, or any second-hand goods. HBNC is not an emergency relief centre or a specialist homelessness support service.

Op shops and local churches are other avenues for donating, while We Care 2 is the best place to contact regarding food relief.