JOINING FORCES: Salvos store manager Tyson McConnell, Invocare regional manager Chris Walters and Still Waters accommodation services manager Mona Nielsen collect blankets for the homeless.
JOINING FORCES: Salvos store manager Tyson McConnell, Invocare regional manager Chris Walters and Still Waters accommodation services manager Mona Nielsen collect blankets for the homeless. Yvonne Gardiner

Business joins Salvos appeal to warm homeless

AS THE temperature drops on the Gold Coast, an appeal has been launched to collect blankets for homeless and disadvantaged people.

Invocare funeral homes and The Salvation Army have joined forces in a winter blanket appeal across Queensland and Northern NSW.

For every blanket donated by a member of the public, Somerville Funerals at Nerang and Southport, and Metropolitan Funerals at Southport, will hand over a new blanket to The Salvation Army.

Fundraising and public relations manager for The Salvation Army (Gold Coast and Northern Rivers), Rowan Johnstone, said blankets were needed at Salvos Connect Centres, Gold Coast Accommodation Service and Gold Coast Recovery Services.

"Throughout Queensland, NSW and the ACT each night, 2500 clients of The Salvation Army are accommodated in crisis traditional housing, long-term or resident-funded services. Each week over 4500 people are provided with a bed," he said.

"(A total of ) 44,083 homeless people - 42% of Australia's homeless - in the 2011 census were children and youth under 25 years. That's an increase of 17% since the last census in 2006."

The Salvation Army and Salvos stores are involved in Homeless Connect at Metricon Stadium on August 3.

This event, in its ninth year, brings together service providers from the government and community sector to create a one-stop shop event that gives homeless people a day of recreation, entertainment, personal care and access to support services.

"The Salvos provide the blankets and work with other members of the Gold Coast Homelessness Network to make this day happen," Rowan said.

The funeral homes' regional manager Christine Walters said some men, women and children would struggle to keep warm, especially the homeless and those affected by drug addiction and mental illness.

"This winter we are again responding to the needs of some of the most disadvantaged in our community with a blanket donation drive, to give warmth and comfort to those in need," Christine said.

Blankets can be dropped at the following locations:

Somerville Funerals - Nerang-Broadbeach Road, Nerang, and 65 Nind Street, Southport

Metropolitan Funerals - 44 Nind Street, Southport

For details on how you can donate or to volunteer at Homeless Connect, contact the Gold Coast Youth Service on 5572 0400.


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