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An urgent appeal for our flood affected communities

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in our State as many thousands of people come to terms with losing their homes.

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17 March 2022

News | HopeStreet

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in our State as many thousands of people come to terms with losing their homes, and for some their pets, livelihoods, livestock and loved ones too.

At the time of writing, people of the Northern Rivers are in desperate need of food staples and drinking water across multiple communities, and response and recovery is not occurring quickly enough.

Chris Walters, manager of our two Community Housing sites in Lismore says there is no time to waste, and we need to be in it for the long haul. Fortunately, our BaptistCare Garimaleh and Illowra sites were not inundated, however rapidly rising flood waters were terrifying, and heartbreak has set in as the water recedes.

“Our town looks like a warzone. Everybody’s lives are tipped out, covered in mud on the sidewalk. That’s what hurts. They can’t go back into their homes as it’s not safe, and every possession they own is gone. We have thousands residing in evacuation centres. There’s a lot of trauma,” said Chris.

“I think the people of Lismore are beautiful. We’re witnessing people doing what they can when they can. One of our tenants is washing clothing for strangers, people are cooking and sharing food, and providing service anywhere they can.”

In the CBD, the buildings aren’t structurally safe so local businesses cannot reopen. The immediate need is for vital supplies to survive.

“We’ve sourced pet food, food hampers, toiletries, toilet paper, blankets. But people have nothing. We are sheltering a family of one housing tenant, and the mum didn’t have shoes on when they fled during the night. They sat in a boat tied to a clothesline for two hours in torrential rain, with a dog, a child, and a pregnant woman, before being rescued.”

“The people need your ongoing support. When you think of the extent of the damage - even white goods, crockery, cutlery – this is no quick fix.”

Help make a difference and support the emergency relief for those affected by the NSW Northern Rivers floods. Please help us reach our goal to raise $100,000 by donating today.