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Vinnies launches $250K winter appeal amidst growing homelessness crisis

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Image / Vinnies

The St Vincent de Paul Society is urgently appealing for $250,000 this winter to support Tasmanians struggling to survive the cold months.

Chief Executive Heather Kent said the money will help those in the community who are finding the challenges of daily life overwhelming, as the cost of living soars due to rising rents, energy prices, food costs and a lack of affordable housing.


Kent expressed particular concern about the number of people unable to find suitable housing in Tasmania, with approximately 42 people turned away from supported accommodation daily.

“A staggering 2,350 Tasmanians were reported as homeless in the 2021 Census. We know the number has grown since then,” Kent said.

CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society (Tas) Heather Kent. Image / Supplied

“In February of this year there were 4,705 people on the waiting list for social housing with the average time to house priority applicants being 92.6 weeks.”

“With the cost of housing continuing to rise amidst supply shortages, a record number of people are experiencing housing stress and hardship.”

Irish credits Vinnies with saving his life. Image / WIN

Her comments follow the recent rejection by the Hobart City Council of a social housing development, similar to facilities credited by one resident for saving his life twice.

Known as ‘Irish’, the resident said Bethlehem House took him in when his life fell apart after acquiring a brain injury in an e-scooter crash and losing his job.


“I was asked to move out so I lived in my car for nine weeks … I had a pretty horrible time. No showers, no facilities,” Irish said.

“[Living with Vinnies] makes me feel safe. It makes me feel cared for. It makes make feel non-judged because theres none of that here.”

The Winter Appeal will provide emergency food hampers, food vouchers, financial assistance, funding for essential medication prescriptions, blankets and clothing to those in need.

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