Shoalhaven Emergency Response Van

WINTER is always a difficult time when you are homeless but a local group is determined to spread some warmth.

The community funded Shoalhaven Emergency Response Van is set for its first winter helping the homeless and putting food on people’s tables

The van, since November last year, has been busy helping people round the round region and the van coordinator, Ashley Hudson, said they were bracing themselves for a busy winter.

She said apart from food, the volunteers from the SALT Ministry run van spends time with people in need and often a chat is more important than getting something to eat.

“They are really connecting back into the community,” she said.

They see around 15 to 20 people at the Nowra Showground and they take the van to a local caravan park where they offer more assistance.

“We are see between 10 to 15 families at the caravan park,” Mrs Hudson said.

“The people at the caravan park are doing it tough as much as anyone else.

“They are struggling to put food on tables and so anything we can offer helps.”

What the van is all about

She said people appreciate the assistance.

“They get overwhelmed and can’t believe we give them food out for free,” she said.

“I gave some food to one homeless man recently and he said ‘I don't’ feel like I need it that much but I really do’.”

The volunteers go to  a men’s and a women’s refuge and give people groceries, milk and fresh fruit and vegetables.

Seeing people in such situation can be both comforting and rewarding at the same time.

“I love working with them and just love giving them a step up in the one way we can,” Mrs Hudson said.

“The van is just great and we are really making connections and we hear their stories which are very touching.”

Salt is alway in need of more volunteer to help run the van and the next training day is June 18.

“We definitely need more male volunteers,” Mrs Hudson said.

For more information go to www.saltministries.com.au or call 4480 5028.

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