AUSTRALIA – As winter approaches, there is a lack of housing on Kangaroo Island due to the impacts on the community of both bushfires and now the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Junction Australia is the main homelessness support service on the Island and Kangaroo Island Community Centre coordinator Maree Baldwin is worried about families.
She has authored a letter to KI businesses and general community asking for anyone with available accommodation to come forward.
Accommodation that may not being used due to the end of tourism on the Island.
“Junction is concerned at the number of people within our community who may need to access this service during the current climate,” Baldwin wrote.
“Over 200 people in our community were displaced during the bushfires and although many were able to find suitable temporary housing providing them the much valued time to rebuild their lives, we are aware there are still a number of people living in substandard housing.
“With winter fast approaching, Junction, known on-island as the Kangaroo Island Community Centre, is working with the Recovery Centre to ensure plans are in place to provide appropriate housing for those who may need it if required.
“Added to this is the island-wide complication of the COVID-19 pandemic which may require people within our community to self-isolate for periods of up to 14 days.
“We recognise a number of tourism accommodation businesses have faced a difficult period over this time and with the uncertainty of the months ahead believe we could work together to provide a mutually beneficial outcome for yourselves and our community.
“The Community Centre is in the process of compiling a database of businesses who are prepared to offer their accommodation at an affordable rate on a short-term (up to one month) to mid-term (up to six months) basis to support the community.
“Accompanied by the current Governmental supports in place we believe this could provide some financial relief for your business as well as providing the housing relief our community may potentially need.
“If you would like your business to be considered can you please complete the attached form and return to me either via email firstname.lastname@example.org or drop into the Community Centre, 16 Telegraph Road, Kingscote.
“If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me direct on 0439 501 235.”