Samaritan House Geelong continued to be under high demand over the Christmas and New Year period to support homeless men. Our vision is that “No homeless man need sleep rough in Geelong” and Tim Wilson & his team of volunteers so their best to achieve this
We consistently have over 80% occupancy – in February 2019, it was 95% – and often completely full. The reason we are not 100% all the time – which we could well be – is that our guest mix is carefully managed to ensure safety for guests and our overnight volunteers.
Our service is professionally managed by SalvoConnect and this agreement is working well. This connection is both practical and strategic. However, our service could not operate without our cohort of volunteers, who we estimate put in approx. 12,000hours each year. This has been estimated to be nominally worth $385,000 pa, so is a huge contribution by any measure.
We are always keen to speak with people who would like to discuss volunteering with us – there are a variety of opportunities. Just download the form in the “Support Us” part of our website. (listed below)
Our 2019 Winter Appeal has been launched. This is a very important fundraiser for us as we rely totally on the Geelong and wider community to enable us to do what we do. Of course you can donate to support our work at any time – just click on the “Donate” button on our homepage.
On a longer term basis, the Board is beginning to investigate the opportunities that the land at the rear of our property may present for five or six one-bedroom, independent transitional units for our guests as a next step in the re-establishment of their lives. SalvoConnect consistently reports that there is a huge lack of affordable housing In Geelong for our guests to move into. Being on-site, we could then provide an even better transitional support service to our guests. Of course, this will involve a detailed planning process and sourcing funding for both the capital costs, additional staff and other resourcing , etc. so this concept is still at the very early stages – watch this space!
We look forward to the year ahead. Thanks for your support of Samaritan House Geelong. Please consider our Winter Appeal which is now on. http://www.samaritanhousegeelong.com.au
Update: Keith Fagg – Board Chair. Photos supplied