Hunter Homeless Connect (HHC) works in the Greater Newcastle and surrounding regions, taking an active lead to address homelessness. Hunter Homeless Connect's mission is 'Building an inclusive community with zero judgement'. Hunter Homeless Connect is a volunteer not-for-profit organisation that coordinates an annual 'Hunter Homeless Connect Day' event.
The events link people experiencing homelessness to vital services such as accommodation, housing, health and well-being, legal and financial assistance, employment and education services and other general support. The day aims to create an environment that maintains dignity, fosters a culture of inclusiveness and encourages a sense of connection with the local community. Since 2009, up to 1,500 people annually have been able to access HHC’s “one stop shop” human services, community services and homelessness services providers.
In more recent years, the addition of access to services such as free haircuts, massage, immunisations, optometry, birth certificates, bedding, phone and travel cards, food and clothing has increased value and connection.
We now have a proven model to facilitate access and include the community in responding to the needs of people at risk of/experiencing homelessness through our Connecting The Hunter (CTH) Project. Many local businesses/organisations/service providers want to help people experiencing homelessness, but don't know how to reach out. Many people experiencing homelessness feel embarrassed and ashamed requesting food or basic services. CTH program provides a framework for businesses and the community to be active participants in responding to homelessness. Businesses/organisations offer their goods and services through a voucher system facilitated by Connecting the Hunter. People experiencing homelessness are provided with vouchers to be used at the nominated business.
HHC also produces a community services directory, and invaluable resource made available free of charge.
Funded by Newcastle (August 2021)