The Mobile Homeless

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6 August, 2019

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 social welfare agencies.

Fred's Van is a mobile food service that provides hot, nutritious meal, blankets, clothing and food vouchers, donated books, social connection and referrals to other community service and Government agencies.

Foodbank now has several Vans to help to bring supermarket to those in need and have been trialing in regional areas.

The good thing about these mobile service is that they can change their roster and location to suit the needs of the homeless. They are supported by volunteers who treat the clients with the dignity they deserve and can lend an ear over a coffee or a hot meal. Although operating independently there are times across the roster where they overlap to provide a wider range of basic services available to where the need is greatest.

Affordable SA is a mobile resource providing greater access to support services for South Australians and empowering house holds facing difficulties. It helps connect the dots using plain language between all the services available and provides an easy self guiding mobile application so that those in need can make informed decisions to take better control over their financial decisions and obtain useful assistance for their well being.

Overseas in London they have come up with an idea turning the iconic red double decker into mobile shelters for the homeless. The buses have room for dining as well as computer terminals to help people to start to reconnect with services. In Adelaide we already utilise bus terminals for code red and blue days so an extra bus or two parked in the terminal doesn't seem an unreasonable thing to consider.

by Graeme

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Think outside the box

Our lives are filled with stuff.

Stuff can be found falling out of bathroom cabinets, hidden under beds, tucked into ceiling cavities, wedged behind couches, stacked up against garage walls and shoved into cupboards. To deal with stuff, many people choose to rent large metal boxes to lock their stuff away for months or even years at a time.

There are many reasons why people choose to put their stuff into storage. People may downsize their home, separate from a partner, leave their house, go into a retirement home or pass away, which ultimately leaves their stuff without a place to go.

Self-Storage can be a useful option for some people. However, as Financial Counsellors we often speak to people who have a storage unit but due to financial hardship have fallen behind on their payments. What people may not realise is that some storage facilities may not release your belongings to you unless you are up to date with your payments. Furthermore, if you fall too far behind on your payments your belongings may be sold at auction.

Therefore, before deciding to put your stuff into storage it is important to ask yourself the following questions:

- Can I afford a storage unit?

- Have I read the contract?

- Do I know what happens to my belongings if I cannot make the payments?

- Is the cost of maintaining the storage unit more than the cost of replacing my items?

- Do the items have sentimental value? If yes, is there an alternative option, such as a storing the items with a friend or family member?

- Can some of my belongings be stored electronically (e.g. documents and photos)?

- Will I need the items within the next 12 months? If not, could the items be sold or donated?

If you have fallen behind on your storage repayments and you would like to talk to a Financial Counsellor about your situation, call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or search for the National Debt Helpline on the Affordable SA App.

By Sam