Homelessness event rakes in donations

The event is happening on Decmember 8 at Lighthorse Park, Liverpool. Picture Chris Lane
The event is happening on Decmember 8 at Lighthorse Park, Liverpool. Picture Chris Lane

Moorebank resident Lisa Smith is set to host Make the Homeless Smile for a while –  an event where donations will be collected for Liverpool’s homeless in time for Christmas.

The event will be held at Lighthorse Park from 6pm and will welcome donation drop-offs.

The mother of three said donations have been pouring in from residents and local businesses.

“I’ve had an abundance of donations from residents who’ve provided pillows, towels, sheets, bags and books,” Ms Smith said.

“Moorebank Amcal Pharmacy have donated a box of sanitary products and Therapists with Hooves have donated two hours of pet therapy with Bushman the horse. They’re based out at Windsor and they often go to nursing homes to give pet therapy.

“I’m also in the process of speaking to local supermarkets, so I’m hopeful there may be further donations.”

Ms Smith, 35, said the idea stemmed from a conversation with her mother.

“We were speaking about the woman who was assaulted recently at Lighthorse Park and the topic of homelessness in parks around Liverpool came up.

“I wanted to help our and make donations so I posted about in on a Moorebank community social media page asking for more donations and it became viral.

“It was pretty crazy and so I decided to make an official event.”

She said own hardships inspired her to help the needy. “I’ve experienced hardships and I wanted to do something in time for Christmas.

“When I was a single mum it got stressful in the financial sense. I’m lucky I have supportive parents and friends but not everyone has.”

“So this event is about giving to people who don’t get that support,” Ms Smith said. “I’m no longer a single mum and I’m in a situation where I’m able to help. Let’s make a difference for other people.”

The event comes after MP Chris Hayes spoke to Parliament about the Social Services Legislation Amendment Bill.

“This bill, really, in terms of community housing, applies to about one per cent of the rental base,” he said. “If this government was serious about homelessness, it would certainly be doing something about mental health, which is one of the main triggers and issues of homelessness.

“It would also, particularly as experienced in my own electorate, be doing something about crisis accommodation, particularly for women fleeing domestic violence.

“A Labor government will tackle the holistic aspects of homelessness and ensure that the causes of homelessness and housing insecurity are addressed, not just issues around rental arrears but the underpinning issues so we can help people break these bonds which link them to disadvantage.”