Missionbeat makes urgent call for blankets for Sydney's homeless
Mission Australia’s homeless transport service, Missionbeat is urgently calling on Sydneysiders to donate good quality and clean single bed blankets to help keep people who are homeless safe and comfortable throughout the warmer months.
After a cold and wet winter, Missionbeat’s blanket stores are nearing empty and the service continues to experience an unprecedented surge in demand. With the most recent City of Sydney Street count in August counting 394 rough sleepers – an increase from last year’s winter count – the numbers of rough sleepers needing blankets are on the rise.
Mission Australia State Director, Ben Carblis said that while a blanket won’t reduce homelessness, it is one way to provide some form of comfort for a rough sleeper and urged the community to donate blankets.
We know that a blanket won’t reduce homelessness, but it is one way we can work together to provide some comfort and dignity to a person while Mission Australia and other services work to provide long-term supports and exits out of homelessness.
“A blanket can be a vital item for a person who is homeless in every season, including spring and summer. It can define their own space, sets parameters for their safety and can soften a park bench or cold concrete surface. Even as the weather warms, a blanket can protect someone from the elements and offer a thin veil of privacy from onlookers,” said Mr Carblis.
Mr Carblis continued,
All homeless people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and a bit of a spring clean and donating a few blankets is one easy way that the community can support people in need. Rough sleepers can come from all walks of life, from all backgrounds and often have families and loved ones. The only difference is that they’ve encountered some challenges or barriers that have caused them to become homeless. A lot of the time, homelessness is the result of circumstances out of that person’s or family’s control.
Missionbeat has patrolled Sydney’s inner city streets for 35 years, offering free transport and street level support for homeless people.
How to donate a blanket
Drop your blankets at the Missionbeat office, 24/168 Victoria Road Marrickville, open seven days a week between 7.00 am and 10.30 pm.