Coast Connect Day has over 70 stalls

Coast Connect Day will be held on Thursday, August 7 at Niagara Park Stadium.

Coast Connect Day aims to provide the homeless, or those who are in need of help, with assistance ranging from a simple meal through to hygiene products, haircuts and legal advice, all free of charge. Coast Shelter operations manager Ms Shayne Silvers said over 70 stalls had registered for the event. Ms Silvers said every year the number of stalls had increased due to the increase in the number of people struggling with homelessness, with high rent being a major contributing factor. Hunter TAFE hair and beauty students and teachers will donate their time on the day and give people who are doing it tough the chance to be pampered and indulge for free. “The pampering stall is very popular and is always great,” said Ms Silvers.

Hunter TAFE is an active partner for the event, with the assistance of the community services students in the organisation of the day. Another popular stall is one that gives those in need the chance to have a photo shoot. “This is usually used by families who want take the opportunity to say this is a new beginning, this is our life from now,” said Ms Silvers. Coast Connect Day is run by a combination of businesses, government organisations, non-government organisations and institutions such as Hunter TAFE and Coast Shelter. Services provided by Coast Shelter include accommodation, budgeting advice, legal advice, support services, food hampers, children’s crèche and clothing.

Ms Silvers said one of the most prominent issues at Coast Connect Day every year was health. “In a time of struggle, health is usually the first thing to be left undealt with,” said Ms Silvers. “Most Australians live week to week, 105,000 Australians sleep homeless every night,” said Ms Silvers. “Really, if it wasn’t for employment, for education, a strong network of friends, it [homelessness] could be so easy,” she said. Ms Silvers said Coast Connect Day aimed to address these issues and give those that are struggling the chance to connect with other members of the community.

Victoria Power,
18 Jul 2014
Interviewee: Shayne Silvers