St Agnes' Catholic Parish has repurposed The Francis Retreat at Bonny Hills for temporary accommodation for residents from Laurieton/Dunbogan and surrounds that have been displaced by floods.
St Agnes' Catholic Parish CEO Adam Spencer said this was one of the outcomes from working with the NSW Government's Disaster Preparedness Group, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and other providers to see how the Parish can best address the needs of the community at this time.
"Everyone has been impacted by the floods in some way and we see how the community always rises to the occasion to help their neighbours and those in need," Mr Spencer said.
"For the Parish, it has been about addressing needs in the immediate term and then planning for the long-term needs of the community.
"In the immediate term we have repurposed our retreat and conference centre 'The Francis Retreat' at Bonny Hills to provide food and accommodation for 70+ residents of Laurieton and Dunbogan who were displaced by the floods. We are also working with the Salvation Army to assist with the care of these people.
"We are supporting the local hospital by providing beds for the elderly that are displaced or unwell wherever we can in our aged care residential services.
"Also our Youth Hub in Horton Street is providing a place to have a shower, wash clothes and a dry place to have a cup of tea or coffee."
Mr Spencer said that the Parish's longer term response will involve support for families and businesses.
"There will be a great need to support those trying to clean up the mess and devastation the flood waters have left. We will be on hand to provide whatever assistance is required in terms of clean-up teams, accommodation, food and clothing, and storage," he said.
"We have asked our community to donate items for care packages which include items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, towels, soap, shampoo, conditioner and deodorant - smaller/travel size packs are ideal. Please drop any items to reception at the Parish Administration Centre or the Presbytery in Hay Street, Port Macquarie."
Mr Spencer said financial donations can be made via their website www.stagnesparish.org.au/giving.
If you, or anyone you know, has been impacted by the floods, contact the Parish on 6583 1024.
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