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Communities come together to help homeless

More than 500 hot meals have been cooked and delivered to Launceston’s homeless people by the Launceston Thai community and Shekinah House since the start of March.

What started off as an initiative to help feed those working on the Covid- 9 frontlines soon became a joint effort by the Launceston Thai Community and Shekinah House to help feed homeless people who had been placed in the city’s hotels.

Launceston Thai community member Pearl Chinthammit said limited access to the hotel’s kitchen meant many of the temporary residents were not able to cook for themselves.

“We started off by trying to provide meals to the healthcare workers at the Launceston General Hospital, but that only lasted a few weeks because the hospital staff were worried about the food being contaminated due to Covid 19,” she said.

“We still wanted to help so we contacted Shekinah House to see what we could do and they told us about cooking food for the homeless. So we decided that instead of providing hot meals to the hospital staff, we can give it to other members of the community who really need it.”

Shekinah House brought together a range of communities to cook hot meals for the homeless each week.

Shekinah House co-founder Louise Cowan said a number of different communities, restaurants and cafés helped out.

“Even though business has been really bad lately, they still find time and money to give back” she said.

“Everyone who does something, even if it’s small, contributes to making the difference. No one can make this big a difference alone.”

While Covid-19 has been devastating, it has also helped to bring different communities together to help those who are vulnerable.

“It’s not just one person making a difference, but a bunch of people coming together to give back. everyone has different skills that they can contribute, so you’re right, it’s a team effort,” she said.

There are over 320 members of The Thai community across Tasmania and just over 100 members in Launceston.

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