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Doorways delivers 300 meals in Top End lockdown

Doorways delivers 300 meals in Top End lockdown

Doorways delivers 300 meals in Top End lockdown

4 August 2021

Captain Peter Jones, Northern Territory Public Relations Officer, and Jamie-Leigh Barnard, Team Leader at Doorways in the Northern Territory, deliver food, masks and information to some rough sleepers in Darwin during a recent COVID-19 lockdown.

By Darryl Whitecross

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The Salvation Army Doorways community support team in Darwin continues to play a significant role in the lives of people experiencing homelessness in the Top End.

Jamie-Leigh Barnard, Team Leader at Doorways in the Northern Territory, said an example of this was the significant role her team played in the COVID-19 lockdown early in July. She said she was able to coordinate several Army streams and community businesses to regularly provide food and information to the homeless across the city.

Jamie and Captain Peter Jones, the Army’s Public Relations Officer in the Northern Territory, criss-crossed city streets each day delivering hot meals – about 300 during the lockdown – and any government information regarding COVID-19 regulations.

Tevy Hok, the Fair Dinkum Tucker takeaway shop owner, again provided the meals for the Army to deliver, having done the same thing when COVID-19 emerged last year. During the recent extended lockdown, Tevy provided 100 meals a day for three days.

Jamie said she had to act quickly as the government gave the Army “less than two hours notice” to mobilise a team and resources to relay information about the lockdown and distribute food and masks to the “large cohort of rough sleepers who are doing it tough” in Darwin.

“I’d say 90 per cent of those rough sleepers don’t have access to mobile phones or the internet or any sort of reputable source to get information,” Jamie said. “They wouldn’t have received any information about the lockdown in time.”

Jamie and Peter handed out as many masks as they could, including gloves and masks Area Officer Major Erica Jones gathered from Army emergency services stocks to add to what had been bought.

Jamie congratulated the rough sleepers on the way they had followed the government’s directions. She said that being outside was “classed as their house”, and they were required to remain in the groups they usually associated with, not move about, and adhere to social-distancing requirements. “That was really difficult, but they were very compliant,” she said.

Jamie said the Doorways team worked closely with Larrakia Nation, the Aboriginal corporation in Darwin, to ensure most homeless people were contacted during the lockdown.

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