Not-for-profit organisation Heart for the Homeless has rescued an estimated $52,000 worth of unwanted food, clothing and furniture from 370 houses this year.
“We’ve rescued approximately 13 tonnes of unwanted or unloved items nationwide in the last eight months,” said Leighton Walters, former real estate agent and founder of Heart for the Homeless.
“This equates to approximately $52,000 in resources, which has since been donated to those less fortunate in our community.”
According to Mr Walters, homelessness is an important issue concerning all Australians.
“With over 105,000 people finding themselves homeless every night, the stereotype of the old male 'wino' has been joined by many other faces of homelessness, including those of women and children,” he said.
According to data by Homelessness Australia, 44 per cent of homeless people are women and 17 per cent of homeless people are under the age of 18 years.
“High rents in urban areas and the rising cost of living is contributing to more people living on the streets each year,” said Mr Walters.
“Our organisation is a way that ordinary Australians can pay it forward when they move house.”
Mr Walters explained that Heart for the Homeless was a one-stop assistance program for people who were looking to get rid of their old furniture and clothes but didn’t have the time or money to properly dispose of them.
“Around 79,000 people move home every week and often people leave unwanted items dumped on the side of the road or at the tip," he said.
“Rather than throwing away their disused or unloved clothes and furniture, we are encouraging all tenants and homeowners to think about donating their unwanted goods to someone less fortunate in the community through our organisation.
“Essentially, we want to give meaning to the mundane task of getting rid of unwanted goods.”
Mr Walters added that people either downsizing to a smaller home or relocating overseas usually had the most to contribute.