Vinnies get a second van
BY JOHN MCLAURIN
ST VINCENT de Paul in the Archdiocese have responded strongly to Anti-Poverty week (October 15 to 21) and the growing number of homelessness by launching a second Night Patrol Van. They’ve done so in partnership with Canberra Toyota.
“After 16 years of the Night Patrol servicing the areas of Dickson and the city centre, increased homelessness in the outer suburbs, has meant that the need for a second van has become very apparent,” St Vincent de Paul Society CEO of Canberra and Goulburn Barnie van Wyk said.
“We are very grateful to long-term Vinnies partner Canberra Toyota who stepped up and donated a much-needed vehicle to be used as the new Night Patrol Van.”
Night Patrol locations at Tuggeranong, Queanbeyan and Woden was announced at the launch which was attended by Canberra Toyota Dealer Principal Mirko Milic and Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry.
They too shared Mr van Wyk’s enthusiasm for the outreach which provides warm clothing items, hygiene packs, light refreshments and friendly faces.
“At Canberra Toyota we are proud to do our bit to help curb the homelessness problem in our community,” Mr Milic said.
“We hope that the new van will allow outreach to go beyond the current locations and meet the needs of the wider Canberra community.”
Ms Berry said “The ACT Government has long supported St Vincent de Paul Society’s work in helping disadvantaged individuals and families in the ACT.
“With a second patrol vehicle, the Night Patrol’s growing reach adds to the value of Government funded programs run by the Society including Samaritan House, Blue Door, Family Service, Young Parents Accommodation, and Street to Home.”
Other companies to partner with the St Vincent de Paul Society and Canberra Toyota include ActewAGL, Canberra Southern Cross Club, Canberra Milk and the team at AC&R for providing the fit out of the new van.
Their combined efforts come amid ever growing concerns of homelessness.
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St Vincent de Paul is solely reliant on corporate sponsors, donations from the community as well as the support from over 300 volunteers. Anyone interested in volunteering for Night Patrol can go online to www.vinniesnightpatrol.org.au or alternatively they can call (02) 6234 7348.