Larrakia Nation, Darwin YWCA, Salvation Army and the NT Government have worked together over the last week to ensure Darwin’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups have access to shelter, dry clothing and food during a week of thunderstorms, heavy rain and high winds.
Larrakia Nation triggered the activation of the Wet Weather Respite program on Thursday 25 January. The program, run in partnership with YWCA, Salvation Army and NT Government, supports the vulnerable among the homeless population in Darwin, to protect people’s health and reduce the need to go to hospital.
Since the program was activated, 90 people per day have been assisted with accommodation, clothing and food. Many of those have been picked up from various locations such as shopping centres and public spaces, while others have been referred by other agencies.
Larrakia Nation employee, Aaron Mummery, has noticed huge improvements in the welfare of the clients since the shelter first opened on Thursday.
“We have noticed huge improvements in their health and personal hygiene since checking into the shelter because they have access to wash their clothes, shower and contact their family members.
“They are looking and feeling more refreshed because they’ve had lots of sleep. They have been very helpful assisting our staff with keeping the property in good order.”
The shelter filled up quickly over the weekend, reaching full capacity on Sunday, and stayed that way through until Wednesday.
A client staying at the shelter, Bradley Dover, says he is thankful to the staff working at the shelter, stating that he and his wife were on the streets with no money when Larrakia Nation Assist picked him up from the bus stop and brought him to the shelter.
Mr Dover is now looking at returning home to Alice Springs through Larrakia Nation’s Return to Country program.
Larrakia Nation CEO, Robert Cooper said, “It has been great to see the agencies working together to look after our most vulnerable.
“It is also wonderful to receive thanks from our guests for keeping them safe during this period of bad weather.”
“With funding from the NT Government and the support of our partners the Salvation Army and the YWCA our staff would have struggled to keep all those people safe, warm and dry. We are also grateful to Foodbank for coming to our aid with supplies of essential food.”