The Adelaide Hills region of Mount Barker has boasted some of the largest population increases in the state over the last few years. This explosion of population creates a whole lot of issues regarding the facilities and new services needed to keep pace with this ever expanding suburban sprawl. Like many regions that are on the fringes of Adelaide, the associated social support services that provide for people in need and in financial stress become stretched to the limit and facilities as well as new ideas are needed to match the growth of the town and to assist people to be able to help themselves.
Over the last few years the local Mount Barker community and Church groups have been making available more basic support services to cater for the growing number of people struggling with cost of living issues. Emergency Relief and Free Fresh Food Markets are regularly available through the Salvation Army in Fletcher street with many other forms of assistance such as meals and basic provisions coming from the Uniting, Baptist and Anglican Churches as well as the local Community Centre. These Church groups extend a welcoming and non judgmental hand of help to their community.
There are Government funded services and programs to help those experiencing homelessness in Mount Barker but despite the previous growth in private housing there is little or no homeless shelters available in the area. The lack of basic facilities such as showers and toilet facilities makes it even harder for people needing to sleep rough.
One Voice, the blue mobile shower and toilet van which can be seen throughout Adelaide has now taken the drive up the hill to bring their service to those in need. One Voice in partnership with the Church Groups in Mount Barker will help to provide a regular connection point for the mobile toilet and shower facility. You can find the Mount Barker times and dates for the van in the Affordable SA App and website linked below.
These showers should be considered just a start to providing more of the basics for those experiencing homelessness as there is a lot more to do regarding accessing a safe place to sleep for those in a vulnerable position in our Hills and beyond.
The Orange Sky mobile laundry and One Voice mobile showers have been operating around Adelaide for several years providing much needed services for people sleeping rough or experiencing homelessness. Each service works in conjunction with many community centres, church groups and agencies such as The Salvation Army, Vinnies, ADRA Anglicare and Fred's Food Van.
Both Orange Sky and One Voice have now come together to provide a complete joint service at The Salvation Army Marion. Each Friday morning from 10am till 12 noon, Orange Sky and One Voice meet up in the Salvo's carpark and once a month are joined by a volunteer hair stylist.
Fridays are a busy time at the Marion Salvos with the Op shop in full swing and the Salvos kitchen busy getting ready for the free community lunch for people in need and doing it tough. It is also an opportunity for those experiencing hardship to connect with community programs and services such as Financial Counselling and emergency relief workers available in The Salvation Army building. This new partnership helps to provide a wider range of basic services available at the site, maximising the assistance available.
Of course these services aren't possible without the friendly volunteers pictured. Volunteers Racheal, Dan, Dave and Ron from Orange Sky Mobile Laundry with Cliff and Marlene from One Voice mobile showers. Danise, a self employed hairdresser also donates her services one a month. Not only are these volunteers well trained for their tasks and operating the vans but are equally good at listening.
As the year gets under way the kids will soon be looking to sign up for sports and dance. Uniforms, equipment and fees can sometimes be that expense that is hard to find and kids often miss out.
Make sure you're kids are not missing out on the healthy benefits and friendships of sport and dance.
The SA Government Sports Voucher is available to all primary school children aged from reception to year 7. You can claim one voucher for each eligible child per calendar year and many sporting teams are set up to claim the vouchers directly when paying for sports fees.
All forms of Dance is now included and the SA Government has agreed to continue the program till 2021-2022.
There are many ideas for staying cool and saving on expensive utilities bills if you have your own house. When you are renting it is hard to make the changes to problem areas of the home necessary to effectively reduce your costs.
"The Renters Guide to Saving Money" helps people renting to look consider what changes they can make to save money and life sustainably and how to negotiate with landlords for a reasonable outcome.
The booklet is biased towards the East Coast of Australia but many of the practical ideas are still worthy of exploration. Concessions and laws may vary between states so it is worth checking.