More people sleeping rough

Russell Witham with Sue and Ernie Welfare who are a part of Access which helps to feed the disadvantaged. Photo: Inga Williams / The Satellite
Russell Witham with Sue and Ernie Welfare who are a part of Access which helps to feed the disadvantaged. Photo: Inga Williams / The Satellite Inga Williams

IT'S an ever-increasing problem across the south-west.

More pensioners, young adults and families are being forced to seek charitable help or even sleep it rough.

They are camping under bridges, in tents and caravan parks - not knowing when they will see their next meal or hot shower.

Darra-based charitable organisation Access is seeing a steady rise in the number of needy families.

The Christian organisation feeds more than 1500 families across Darra, Goodna and Inala each week and hands out bags of fresh fruit and vegetables to about 40 pensioners.

Pastor Russell Witham said there were people in need of help but they were unaware of the service.

"Our aim is simply to help people,"


"We fill our bags with a good variety of food including eggs, vegetables, mushrooms and more.

"We also teach people the gospel because drugs are a major issue."

Volunteer Sue Welfare, who has been helping to feed the homeless since the 2011 floods, said the circumstances in which many people lived were "heart wrenching".

She said the rising cost of living, including rates and power, were major factors behind the increase in homelessness.

"You don't realise how many there are until you pull up in the van and they all come out of hiding," she said.

"While there are many in the city, there are also lots in the suburbs hiding under bridges and living in parks.

"I love helping them and seeing their faces light up when we give them a hot drink or a blanket."

For more information about Access phone 0415 467 137.

Topics:  homeless

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