CLOSING UP: Catherine and Marcel Cazaly from the Warwick Community Van hope the closure won’t be permanent and they can still reach those in need.
CLOSING UP: Catherine and Marcel Cazaly from the Warwick Community Van hope the closure won’t be permanent and they can still reach those in need.

VIRUSES DON’T DISCRIMINATE: Charities forced to shut doors

THE most vulnerable Warwick residents have been forced to go it alone amid concerns the need for help may only increase.

Due to ongoing coronavirus concerns, Warwick charities have been forced to limit their services.

One such service was the The Warwick Community Van who made the heartbreaking decision to close doors last week.

Organiser Catherine Cazaly, who also works as a nurse, said it was important to protect others in this unknown climate.

“One of the main reasons we made the decision was because a lot of our client and helpers are vulnerable — they’re in the right age range and are compromised and we didn't want to get them all together, ” she said.

We all need to adhere to measures because viruses don't discriminate.”

Ms Cazaly hoped the van could continue to provide help through hampers in the future if measures remained.

“We’ve no means laid down for all of winter yet,” she said.

One of the pressing issues for Ms Cazaly was how isolated vulnerable people could be following social distancing measures.

“For some people to be socially isolated is a form of death,” she said.

“That will be the darkest of times for a lot of people because they may not have the technology to interact, and that one is a really heartbreaking one for me.”

St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland Housing Support Worker Jackie Doyle said operations were continuing as normal as possible at the Cornerstone program.

“It’s business as usual. We’re currently working to see how the government stimulus packages will look but the hostel is still functioning with measures in place to protect residents and ourselves,” she said.

Ms Doyle said it was too early to know if it was “calm before the storm” as upwards of 85,000 Queenslanders could find themselves out of work.

“It’s a very unknown time. At the moment, we’re not getting the traffic as much, maybe people are hunkering down and who knows how that will be looking in a couple of weeks,” she said.

“We’re not yet sure how that access to Centrelink will pan out and maybe people can maintain rent.

“What there will be is a lot of support as far as being able to refer people to online mental health pathways.”



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