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It may not be as obvious here as it is in some countries, but homelessness affects thousands of Australians every year. There are many factors that contribute to this problem- financial difficulties are the main factor, but this is often the result of other issues such as health, unemployment, and the high cost of living. Many people live out of their cars, or if the situation is extremely dire, out on the streets, finding shelter under bridges, in parks, or wherever they can to escape the elements. Because of their situation, many of these people also struggle to find employment, or even bathe or feed themselves.
Luckily there are organisations that make it their goal to help these unfortunate people get back on their feet. The Salvation Army is one of these groups, providing shelter for those who need it, as well as ongoing care and support. The group are also responsible for raising funds, and awareness in the community, of the struggles that many people face.
The Salvation Army in Geelong will be holding the event
On Saturday 2 November, the Salvation Army will be hosting Walking Home, an event that aims to raise awareness and understanding of homelessness in Geelong and its surrounding regions. The 37 kilometre trek begins in Queenscliff, before heading along the Bellarine Rail Trail through Drysdale, Leopold, and the Geelong Showgrounds. The walk concludes at Steampacket Gardens on the Geelong Waterfront. Understandably, there are some people who will be unable to complete the entire journey, so the walk has been separated into doable sections for those who would like to participate but would prefer a shorter distance. There are four options:
Option 1: Queenscliff to Geelong (37km). This will take approximately 6 hours to complete. Group leaves at 8am.
Option 2: Drysdale Train Station to Geelong (20km). This will take approximately 4 hours to complete. Group leaves at 9.30am.
Option 3: Leopold to Geelong (12km). This will take approximately 3 hours to complete. Group leaves from Christies Road (on Rail Trail) at 11am.
Option 4: Geelong Showgrounds to Geelong Waterfront (3.5km). This will take approximately 1 hour to complete. Group leaves from Carr Street entrance at 12.30pm.
Toilets will be set up approximately every 5km along the Bellarine Rail Trail, specifically for the event. There will also be snacks and water available along the way to help participants keep hydrated and nourished as they walk. On completion of the walk, participants will have the chance to relax and enjoy live entertainment at Steampacket Gardens. There will be live bands (including the Salvation Army Brass Band, and several Geelong performers), as well as a Rotary barbecue, a visit from the Geelong basketball team (The Supercats), and lots more.
This event is a great way to show your support for the homeless of our region, and the people who do their best to combat the problem.