Shoalhaven Senior Citizens help give people dignity

Volunteer Jenny Dickerson and Dignity's Volunteer and Donation coordinator Sherin Fishwick thank the Shoalhaven Senior Citizens group for their support.
Volunteer Jenny Dickerson and Dignity's Volunteer and Donation coordinator Sherin Fishwick thank the Shoalhaven Senior Citizens group for their support.

THE recent cold and wet snap had many people going into their homes, lighting the fire and getting warm.

However, when you are homeless your options for getting out of the cold are bleak - a bit like the weather.

A group called Dignity has set up a base in the Nowra area and aims to help people in need.

Dignity is a not for profit organisation and its aim is to support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness by providing food, shelter, clothing, advocacy and education.

The group has safe houses for people to stay in which means they do not have to sleep rough.

The Shoalhaven Senior Citizens recently supported Dignity with a generous donation.

President of the Shoalhaven Senior Citizens Cheryl Wright said they were happy to support Dignity.

“We are happy to help and homelessness is a big issue in our area,” Mrs Wright said.

The money raised by the Shoalhaven Senior Citizens will pay for a freezer for one of the “safe houses” in Nowra where police take women and children who are forced to leave home in difficult circumstances.  

There are several houses in the area where a team of six volunteers cook about 200 dishes a month to feed guests in Dignity’s houses.

The volunteers include retired women, teachers, artists and a lawyer who have elected to cook because they want to make a difference.

ALL HELPS:  Volunteer Jenny Dickerson and Dignity's Volunteer and Donation coordinator Sherin Fishwick with president of the Shoalhaven Senior Citizens Cheryl Wright.

ALL HELPS: Volunteer Jenny Dickerson and Dignity's Volunteer and Donation coordinator Sherin Fishwick with president of the Shoalhaven Senior Citizens Cheryl Wright.

Meanwhile, Dignity has set up a five-bedroom facility for men in the Nowra area, has another facility for women and children and its third ‘flexi’ house will mostly be used for families but can be used to home single people.

The five bedroom facility is for homeless men and Dignity Operations Manager Gabrielle McPherson said they want to help people.

“We understand there is a big need down here and homeless people congregate around the Nowra Showground,” Ms McPherson said.

“The need is for a men’s house, particularly in the winter, and single males have nowhere to go.”

If someone has a mental health issue or fleeing domestic violence the Dignity team refers them to the proper agencies.

Dignity is holding its annual fundraiser on August 11 at the Carrington Room in the Mittagong RSL.

People can buy tickets in group’s major raffle which includes an oil pastel by local artist Robert Dickerson valued at $14,000 or make a bid for an alpaca.

Tickets for the event cost $210 which includes a three course meal, drinks and entertainment.

Go to www.trybooking.com/VITM or www.trybooking.com/375010 to book.