KELLY turned to ac.care when the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the loss of her employment and subsequently left her at risk of homelessness.
“I lost everything, but support from ac.care made a huge difference through COVID,” she said.
Kelly was supported by a case worker at ac.care’s Limestone Coast Homelessness Service, who connected her to the organisation’s housing and financial support programs, along with emergency relief, including food supplies.
More recently, she had the opportunity to adopt a new look when the Thread Together mobile clothing service visited ac.care’s Mount Gambier and Millicent community centres.
“I am normally an op-shopper or rely on hand-me-downs, but it was so nice to pick something brand new off the rack,” she said.
The “mobile wardrobe” operated by not-for-profit partners AnglicareSA and Thread Together takes excess stock from Australian fashion stores and uses vans to deliver the new clothes to communities in need, such as people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Young couple Kym and Monty also welcomed the visit by the mobile clothing van and said the free clothing would help spread their limited finances.
Monty said it was “a bit like Christmas”.
“We wouldn’t usually have new clothes like this,” he said.
The couple was previously assisted into transitional housing by ac.care and Monty said their case worker also encouraged them to be involved in the community and “not sit at home and be depressed”.
“These guys helped me a lot to get where I am today,” he said.
Kelly said she was glad to be able to extend the benefit of the service to a friend who was at home with a seven-month-old baby.
“They will have a nice surprise when I drop by later,” she said.
ac.care Limestone Coast Homelessness Service support worker Kelly McGuinness said it was wonderful to provide the additional visiting service to clients.
“A new set of clothes can make a remarkable difference to someone’s self-esteem and sense of dignity, especially if they have interviews for employment, housing or other commitments coming up,” she said.
“This donation of clothing will allow those trying to secure a better future to take pride in their appearance without having to choose between updating their wardrobe or meeting other essential costs of living.”
Since launching in April 2018, the Anglicare SA and Thread Together partnership has prevented more than 150,000 items of brand-new clothing, valued at an estimated $12m, ending up in landfill.
During 2020, the program delivered clothes to nearly 3000 South Australians, including people affected by the Kangaroo Island and Adelaide Hills bushfires and others impacted during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Limestone Coast visit by the Thread Together van was supported by CMI Toyota’s CMV Foundation and RAA grassroots giving sponsorship.