Long trek to assist homeless

NEW England residents are pulling on their hiking boots for an epic walk to put homelessness in the spotlight this week. 

Locals are participating in the inaugural Hike for Homelessness – a 690km week-long walk from Moree. 

The walk started yesterday.

Hikers will trek through Narrabri, Gunnedah, Tamworth, Armidale, Glen Innes and Inverell before returning to Moree on Sunday. 

Hike for Homeless manager Leigh Smith said a team of walkers would be hiking 24 hours a day, taking turns in shifts to reach each destination.

“It’s a good chance to raise awareness about homelessness, which isn’t quite understood correctly,” he said. 

“It can affect everyone.”

Each town will host a barbecue with information about homelessness services, as well as a performance by singer Victoria Edwards. 

He said the events would include information about services on offer to those at risk of becoming homeless which was crucial given the recent changes under the NSW government’s reforms. 

He said money raised from the barbecues, raffle and donations would go back into local homelessness organisations to run prevention and early intervention programs. 

Hikers will reach Tamworth on Wednesday, with a barbecue lunch to be held from 11am to 2pm in Bicentennial Park. Victoria Edwards will perform a free concert at Wests’ Diggers from 6.30pm. 

For more information or to join the hike, visit hikeforhomeless.com.au or call Leigh Smith on 0437 945 707.

Homeless Persons Week runs from today until Sunday.

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