Camden Haven Community at 3 are here to help those in need

A helping hand: Theo Hazelgrove and Steffan Andler are encouraging everyone to make donations of food tins and other non-perishable items to Kew Corner Store.
A helping hand: Theo Hazelgrove and Steffan Andler are encouraging everyone to make donations of food tins and other non-perishable items to Kew Corner Store.

More people than ever are finding themselves in financial difficulties due to tough economic times, and as the impact of the coronavirus crisis unfolds this will only increase, says Camden Haven Community at 3 chairperson Theo Hazelgrove.

"We need to be ready to help those in need," says Theo.

The Camden Haven Community at 3 helps people who are homeless, lonely or in financial difficulty.

Since the pandemic started, they haven't been able to host their weekly at the back of Laurieton United Services Club, but they have been keeping busy regularly visiting people with food, clothing and bedding.

28 trained volunteers can help find accommodation, jobs, access to mental health services and help reconnect people with their families.

Recently, three women have started work and they've been able to help one gentleman connect with family who has been looking for him for over twenty years. It was a real surprise and very emotional.

The group is very grateful to the community for their ongoing support.

"This is our fourth year, and right from the start the community has got right behind us," says Theo. "At the beginning, we had 16 long-term homeless people, but now they are all in accommodation or have moved to be closer to their families.

"We are very grateful to Rob Dwyer of the Kew Country Club, and the Kew Corner Store who have both been very generous to us. Our patron, Dr Sam Nelapati from the Lake Cathie Medical Centre is also very kind and generous."

In the last 12 months, they have helped families who arrived in the area and were living in their cars, and whilst they are unaware there is anyone homeless here at the moment, but if you, or someone you know, needs help, all you need do is reach out.

Moving forward, the group is working on establishing emergency accommodation in the area, so when people have to leave home quickly, particularly in domestic violence circumstances, people have somewhere to go.

Theo said they will apply for a government grant to help fund a building to host people in need.

You can make donations of food tins (with flip tops) and other non-perishable items to Kew Corner Store, Lake Cathie Medical Centre and Camden Haven Travel.

You can also make a cash donation at the Kew Corner Store.

For a donation of just $5, you will help give someone in need a meal, a donation of $50 will feed a family for a week.

For more information or to donate to the group please visit communityat3.org.au

If you are a member of the community who is in financial difficulty or lonely please call the Camden Haven Community at 3 on 0419 370 076.