In response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), many South Australians are stockpiling foods, hand sanitiser and essential items to ensure that they are well-equipped to care for their families and loved ones in the event of a lockdown.
However, with little access to food, hand-washing stations, and nowhere safe to self-isolate, people experiencing homelessness are unable to do this. Our clients are at high risk.
Did you know, in Adelaide…
We know that members of our community who are older, Indigenous, with pre-existing health conditions and/or living with disability are more susceptible when new illnesses strike – this is the majority of the people we care for.
Sam* is a 50 year old Indigenous man who is likely to be at risk from this virus. Sam was sleeping rough in the streets of Adelaide when he shared a snapshot of his story with our WestCare Centre staff late last year. Sam had 3 admissions to the Royal Adelaide Hospital in as many weeks due to his chronic liver cirrhosis caused by 20 years of alcoholism. Each separate hospital admission followed the same pattern, where the medical team investigated the current presenting symptom and came to the prompt conclusion that alcohol abuse was the root cause of Sam’s problem and discharged him. Due to his homeless state, each discharge resulted in Sam returning to the streets and alcohol, until the next time he required hospital admission. Not only was Sam’s chronic disease causing a significant financial and resource burden to the health care system, the multiple ambulance callouts resulted in a debt of over $2000 which he was unable to pay. Legal action regarding this debt quickly followed. When asked about the reasons for his alcohol habit, Sam explained that in part it was to manage the pain for of hip and pelvic injuries sustained when struck by a car, but the main reason is that it helped with the pain of a broken heart following the death of his adored wife from cancer.
Every week, we provide emergency relief food parcels to people doing it tough, many of whom are experiencing homelessness. Due to the unprecedented levels of stockpiling of non-perishable food items, we are finding it hard to meet demand and our shelves are looking very bare.
In these times of uncertainty, we need to rally together as a community to support those who are most vulnerable. Please consider helping those people who need it the most.
Our clients are in need of…
Our WestCare Centre is in need of extra:
Please drop off items to 11-19 Millers Court (off Wright Street) during office hours, 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.
If you prefer to make a financial gift, please click here and select WestCare Food in the drop down list.
Your generosity changes lives. Take care and take action today.