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A helping hand for people experiencing homelessness

People experiencing homelessness who come into the Emergency Department (ED) at Frankston Hospital are given personal care packages when they leave as part of a new initiative started by ED Nurse Unit Manger Trish O’Neill.

We decided to start creating these packs as there has been an increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness coming to the ED,” explained Trish.

“Almost every day these people come in due to sickness or just for somewhere warm to sit.”

The personal care packages contain basic items such as a comb, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, small towel and face washer.

“The packages just help with basic hygiene – things that we take for granted,” said Trish.

“I think when you don’t have access to those types of things it just helps people to feel a bit more human and to feel better.”

Trish recalled one man experiencing homelessness who was bought to tears after being given the package.

“He was so thankful,” said Trish.

With winter and the cold weather coming, Trish is planning to expand the contents of the packages.

“I’m hoping to get some donations of new socks and underwear to add to the packs” said Trish.

“If people have these items, we’d really appreciate any donations.”

People can donate new socks and underwear to the ACE volunteers or Nurse Unit Managers at Frankston Emergency.

“Hopefully this makes people experiencing homelessness realise that people do think about them,” said Trish.

“It is nice if we can help them in this small way.”



Jessica Mills
Peninsula Health Media