Grampians Community Health have started a new initiative to help people fight off the cold weather this winter.
One of the most daunting situations during winter is to keep warm, and not everyone always has the means to do that.
Grampians Community Health's program leader healthy relationships Gemma Beavis said the homelessness support services helped around 180 people since June 2018 across the Grampians and Wimmera.
"Currently we have 20 active clients being supported in Stawell alone," she said.
With that in mind, Grampians Community Health employees are joining forces to help people who need a warm coat.
Chief executive Greg Little said this winter has come in quickly, very cold and wet so far in the region with little warning the weather would turn as quickly as it did.
"Winter can be a tough for many people in our region, and we need to consider older people, homeless people and others who may be going through a rough time suffers the most", he said.
"The initiative was driven by our customer engagement officers - they are the people who first see clients who come in the door at Grampians Community Health.
"They observed that some people were coming in cold or leaving into the cold without coats and felt that by setting the rack up people could take or leave a coat without fuss or favour."
Since the installation of the rack in Stawell, Grampians Community Health have had a positive response from staff and the community, and are planning on setting up racks in its Horsham and Ararat offices.
Mr Little said it was great to see people getting involved by donating a coat.
"It is such a simple way to make sure people are warm and cared for in the winter season," he said.
"We would welcome anyone who has a coat in the wardrobe they are not using to bring it in and hang it on the rack for someone to benefit from it. If people don't have a coat they no longer need, they can always keep an eye out in second-hand stores for coats to purchase and donate, or if they have some wool at home they could knit beanies or gloves."
People and community support general manager Kathy Day said there was a rack for donated winter coats at the entrance of Stawell Health and Community Centre in Patrick Street
"People are coming in and getting a coat if they need, and others are just leaving one to help out" said Mrs Day.
Anyone wishing to access any of the Grampians Community Health services including homelessness or aged care services can easily do so by calling 5358 7400.
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