|Jenni's home for the first week of July|
Winter has settled in, and most people are pulling out the extra blankets and heaters, but our member Jenni Tarrant from Bond Hair Religion is putting them all away and swapping them for…her Holden Barina. She’s undertaking The Invisible Homeless Project to fundraise for Toora Women Inc. - for seven nights in July, she will be sleeping in her car in the Canberra winter (where it often dips below 0°C) with no heater, no shower, only $20 to live off per day, and all while working as usual.
Unfortunately, this scenario is the reality for many women and children in Australia who find themselves in difficult times or facing physical or psychological violence in their homes.
According to Homelessness Australia…
There are over 116,000 people experiencing homelessness in Australia
56% are men while 44% are women
17,845 children under the age of 10 are homeless over 400 of which are sleeping with no shelter
1 in every 200 people in Australia are homeless on any given night
The largest reason for homelessness in Australia is domestic violence, accounting for 24% of cases, while financial difficulties is second at 20%.
The invisible homeless include people who are living in overcrowded accommodation, staying on family and friend’s couches or staying in cars because they have nowhere else to go.
These are all reasons why Jenni is raising awareness of their plight, and directing all the funds she raises to Toora, Canberra’s local women’s refuge, who have been providing a range of services including homelessness services, counselling and domestic violence services since 1982. In 2019 alone, they have provided a place to stay, safety and support to over 370 women and 99 children.
THE INVISIBLE HOMELESS PROJECT
When it comes to sustainability, we focus on Planet, People and Progress, and when it comes down to the 'people' aspect, it's clear there is a long way to go. That's why Jenni created The Invisible Homeless Project to bring attention to those in need, “I decided to create this fundraiser to bring awareness to a silent and hidden part of everyone’s community. In both the city and the country, women and children are choosing to leave and find themselves in a place that they are still unsafe. Some women and children whilst waiting for help live in their cars. These families face the fear of isolation, violence, cold nights in cramped conditions whist still trying to maintain schooling and jobs. These are the invisible homeless, they are in our communities and live in silence. So, it was time for us all to open our eyes and support those most vulnerable.”
MAKING A CHANGE
|Items for women in need at Toora refuge|
All of the funds raised from The Invisible Homeless Project will go towards $100 gift vouchers from Coles and Woolworths, which will be distributed to women and children leaving Toora women’s refuge to help them with groceries as they get established. Jenni is also collecting items that will be given to women and children who arrive to the refuge with nothing, providing them with the basics to help them feel safe and cared for.
Jenni has fundraised for many other causes before, and this is her latest choice, she says, "All my fundraising is about giving a voice to those in our community that get lost. There are so many in need and I try to find areas that need more noise to give awareness. I hope to have more empathy for those so vulnerable"
We're constantly inspired by the actions of our members and the dedication they have to supporting their communities. We could all take a page out of her book, the generosity of people like Jenni is what helps keep the world going round!
Take action and support your community today, you can donate to this cause via Make A Change Project, or donate goods directly to Bond Hair Religion at Green Square, 68 Jardine St, Kingston ACT 2604. Toora are currently only accepting deodorant, tampons, sanitary pads, toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, razors, toilet paper, nappies and baby wipes.