TO an outsider it may look like a group of friends getting together and sharing sandwiches on the foreshore at Rosebud. And while it’s true that there is a feeling of welcome and no shortage of kind words, these twice-weekly get togethers are full of purpose and highlight a part of what life can be on the Mornington Peninsula.
People sleeping rough on the foreshore or experiencing other kinds of homelessness are participating in the southern peninsula shower and laundry program (SPLaSh) at Rosebud on Mondays and Thursdays.
The program at the foreshore allows them to shower, do their laundry, and eat a meal on the day as well as receive food parcels.
“We call them NFA packs (no fixed address) as they don’t require refrigeration or heating and they are easy to eat,” Southern Peninsula Community Support CEO Jeremy Maxwell said. “A lot of people impacted by homelessness have inadequate dental hygiene so struggle with a lot of foodstuffs.
“We also provide toiletries and hygiene products, as well as some basic clothing, such as underwear, socks and warm coats in winter. Others require bedding or shelter, such as tents.”
Mr Maxwell said anyone who was sleeping rough or homeless was welcome, provided they “respect staff and others and behave themselves at the program”.
He said SPLaSh had become a key engagement point for such agencies as Bolton Clarke’s Outreach Nurse, Peninsula Legal outreach team, Salvation Army, Peninsula Health, and St Vincent’s mobile vaccinating service.