AWARENESS: Family support worker Carissa Hannaford, Specialist Homelessness Service worker Tanya Hughes and Reconnect worker Nicole Williams.

Homelessness is a reality for many in the Mid-Western Region and Barnardos Mudgee brought awareness to the fact last week – National Homelessness Week.

The display on the front lawn of their Church Street offices complete with swag, box and park bench simply asked ‘What will you be sleeping on tonight?’

“I think people would be surprised how many people are homeless in the region,”Barnardos Specialist Homelessness Service worker, Tanya Hughes said.   

“Because most people don’t feel comfortable discussing those types of issues.

“It only takes one trauma, a relationship breakdown, the loss of a job or family member, before things start to spiral out of control.”

“The stigma of a person living under a bridge needs to be debunked,” youth homelessness worker Nicole Williams added.

Exacerbating the problem in the region are high rents and no refuge for people to turn to that results in many sleeping on friends’ and relatives’ couches.

The not-for-profit said it receives great community support and donations are always welcome particularly in the form of fridges, washing machines and other white goods.

(This article was first published in the Mudgee Guardian and Gulgong Advertiser)