Community rallies for critical support service

November 15, 2022 BY

GSC Finance Solutions team with Outpost volunteers. Photos: FACEBOOK/THE OUTPOST INC. GEELONG

THE greater Geelong community is rallying behind fundraising efforts for the city’s only nighttime food and relief service The Outpost Inc, with people as young as five helping raise thousands of dollars towards the organisation’s search for a new home.

Established in 1990 the service has been told by the City of Greater Geelong it has until March next year to relocate from its current rent free location in the city owned Busport Car Park, but anticipates it will need $40,000 annually to rent a commercial premises.

“Council has strongly suggested that the building will go for sale then, meaning The Outpost needs to vacate by this time,” the services vice-president Amy Flint said.

Five-year-old Charlotte O’Brien has so far raised almost $4500 for The Outpost. Photo: SUPPLIED

“We’ve got some money in the bank but we need to retain that ensure we can remain serving the community for another 32 years.”

The Outpost has an online fundraiser that’s so far raised almost $2500, but that’s been eclipsed by local five-year girl Charlotte O’Brien whose campaign of running one-kilometre a day over 30 days has clocked up $4435, and doesn’t close until November 21.

“She’s such a little trooper…her initial target was $500,” Ms Flint said.

Christian College Year 8 Students with teacher Graham Barton at The Outpost.

“Her mum asked around about charities she could support and came across The Outpost and our fundraiser.”

President Raema Ash was recently awarded a 2022 volunteer of the year award by Volunteering Geelong, in partnership with Rotary Geelong and Kardinia.

Ms Ash and Ms Flint head up a team of over 50 volunteers that last year served an estimated 30,000 meals to over 8,900 people who came through its doors, and each are worried about how they’ll continue to operate if they can’t find a new site.

The Outpost President Raema Ash recieves her volunteer award.

“Hunger doesn’t know what time it is…people need to be fed,” Ms Flint said.

“As the only service offering nighttime meals, not having a home is not an option for us.”

To support Charlotte O’Brien’s fundraiser head to: gofundme.com/f/1km-a-day-for-30days-for-the-homelessChristian College Year 8 Students with teacher Graham Barton at The Outpost.