The homelessness awareness community day at the Port Macquarie Town Green was in full swing with community charities and services in attendance to raise funds and awareness.
The event held this Friday (August 5) was organised by the Port Macquarie Hastings Homelessness Committee as part of this year's Homelessness Week.
For committee member and New Horizons employee Elle Wilkins, the day is about the different organisations coming together to address homelessness in the area.
"With inflation and the housing crisis, we've definitely seen a lot more people experiencing homelessness and the demographic of that has increased too.
It's not just a person whose on a low income wage or a job seeker. You're seeing working families with children sleeping in cars because they can't access the rental market."
Ms Wilkins said that the willingness of the community to get on board helped with how the day went.
"I think it's really important to understand how it's impacting our local community and even for the broader reason of having our community come together to try and address that issue."
The event was also an opportunity for Make a Difference (MAD) to showcase their new food trailer complete with a commercial kitchen.
The trailer was made possible thanks to a $33,000 grant from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.
Foundation Chair Jennifer Leslie said that foundation provided the grant after seeing the amazing work MAD were doing with the local community.
"Our vision is to help rewrite the future for people in need and you can't even think about your future unless you've got a hot meal in your belly," she said.
The trailer is normally used to help serve free meals to those in need but today it was selling warm food to help raise money for the organization.
"That money doesn't go to pay wages," said volunteer Peter Navin.
"It goes to buy food and other items that we need to keep the whole thing running."
Ms Wilkins said that alongside raising awareness, the day was also about raising money.
"All funds and proceeds raised today are going to go back to people experiencing homelessness and our larger goal of having a community hub run Monday to Friday."
Other organizations such as Future Planning, Community Housing and Rotary Club of Port Macquarie West were in attendance at the event.
Stalls were lined up to raise funds by selling food, drinks or even raffle tickets.
Music, cultural dances, free haircuts and other activities were also out in full force.
It also was an opportunity to raise awareness of the growing homelessness in the area and the services available to the public.
Nathan Little has been homeless for approximately eight months and came across the event while walking through town.
"It's great and I think it's excellent." he said.
"It's good to know that there's help out there."
Mr Neven also agreed that it was an important event.
"There's a certain amount of shame surrounding homeless people that they don't want to tell you that they're homeless" he said.
I'm really happy and surprised at the number of people that have come down."
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