Community health provider cohealth will mark Homelessness Week with the inaugural Homeless Cup, an exciting day of footy featuring teams from the Reclink social league, most of whom have experienced or are experiencing homelessness.
Led by the cohealth Kangas, the Homeless Cup will feature two great games of footy played simultaneously on adjacent ovals, a barbeque lunch and the opportunity for players and community members to chat to cohealth about health and social support.
Alongside the cohealth Kangas, spectators will cheer on the Wynbay Tigers, the GenU Geelong Cats and the Maryborough Ravens.
Many players from across these teams face barriers to health and social support, including homelessness, disability, alcohol and drug dependence, and mental illness. Footy has become a gateway to building trusting relationships with support services.
“People who are living on the margins are sometimes reluctant to engage with traditional supports and programs because of past trauma, or negative experiences with institutions,” says Beau Branch, Homelessness Outreach Worker and coach of the cohealth Kangas.
“We use the cohealth Kangas as a gateway to build relationships and create pathways to better health and wellbeing.”
The Homeless Cup is a chance to celebrate the hard work of these teams, and provide a welcoming, non-judgmental environment for people to reach out for any support they need. Staff from cohealth’s Homelessness team, as well as representatives from Justice Connect, will be at the grounds to have a chat with anyone who needs advice or support.
“The Kangas are a family that supports each other on and off the field,” says Beau.
“Through the Kangas, we’ve been able create pathways to better health and wellbeing for our players, and we’d like to do the same for community members who come to the Homeless Cup.”
The Homeless Cup is open to the public and is a free event.
Date: Wednesday 9 August
Venue: JJ Holland Park, corner of Kensington Road and Childers Street
More information: Lanie.Harris@cohealth.org.au or 0418 552 377
About cohealth: cohealth is a not-for-profit community health organisation that provides low-cost and free local health and support services including medical, dental, allied health, mental health, aged care and counselling, and many specialist health services across Melbourne’s CBD, northern and western suburbs.