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Hutt St Centre

Record Numbers at Hutt St Centre as Winter Bites

Posted by Hutt St Centre on 2024-06-03

As winter begins to make its presence felt, Hutt St Centre in Adelaide, South Australia, is experiencing unprecedented numbers of people seeking support. The Wellbeing Centre has reported a 25 per cent increase in unique visitors in April compared to last year, with more than a third of new clients experiencing homelessness for the first time.

Chief Executive Chris Burns highlighted the challenging circumstances driving this surge, despite a mild spring with minimal rainfall. More individuals are turning to Hutt St Centre for essential services such as meals, showers, laundry facilities, and medical consultations than ever before.

“We are facing serious cost-of-living and housing crises, and this is reflected in the record number of people seeking support from Hutt St Centre,” Mr Burns explained. The demographic of those seeking help is also shifting, with younger people who never expected to face homelessness and individuals forced to vacate rental properties now living out of their cars or couch surfing.

The rising cost of living has led more people to sleep rough or endure insecure housing situations, often foregoing meals to cover increasing rents and bills. The Wellbeing Centre has become a vital resource, offering a safe place to access support services, enjoy a hot meal, and take a shower.

In April alone, Hutt St Centre served a record 4,388 meals, a significant increase from previous months. Breakfast servings rose by 22 per cent to 1,743, while lunch servings increased by 39 per cent to 2,645. The demand for showers, laundry services, and medical visits also saw substantial rises of 16 per cent, 26 per cent, and 22 per cent, respectively. Overall visits to the Wellbeing Centre grew by 31 per cent, with 36.6 per cent of new clients experiencing homelessness for the first time.

The statistics paint a stark picture: 62.5 per cent of visitors were sleeping rough, compared to 58.3 per cent the previous year, and women comprised 24.8 per cent of the visitors.

“These figures represent real people facing genuine hardship, and we’re only just entering winter,” Mr Burns noted. “We expect numbers to rise further as the rain sets in and temperatures drop. Our challenge is to ensure we can assist each person, and we are grateful to our dedicated staff and volunteers, as well as those who have contributed to our Winter Appeal.”

Hutt St Centre’s Winter Appeal aims to raise funds to support the growing number of individuals in need this season.

To support Hutt St Centre, please follow the link to donate to our Winter Appeal 2024.