When COVID-19 restrictions forced The Comiskey Group to close its venues, visa workers were among the staff they had to stand down. Unable to access government support, these workers are now struggling to feed their families.
So, when Rob Comiskey learned of their plight, he reached out to Chameleon Youth Housing at Kippa-Ring to see what could be done to help.
“We connected with them regarding (food) hampers and keeping these guys and their families fed. They’re visa employees and can’t access any of the government help,” Rob explains.
“We looked after them to a certain point. These guys have got families – kids and wives – and there was no way we were going to turn our backs on them.
Rob contacted Chameleon Youth Housing on April 23 and within 24 hours they had organised hampers for the families.
Chameleon Youth Housing’s Nicki Kemp says the team put together 10 hampers of non-perishable items, some donated by members of the community who assist them with other clients. Each hamper also included a homemade quilt donated by the Monday Quilters group.
Nicki says the service is busy at the moment and there is a definite need within the community from families not receiving government assistance.
Rob Comiskey says his family’s foundation has also donated $10,000 to buy Woolworths vouchers, which will be distributed to his workers’ families in the coming months.
“It’s just a time, whether you’re an Australian citizen or not, to look after everyone as human beings and remember what it means to be Australian – caring for our fellow human beings,” he says.
“What are they going to do, beg in the streets? That’s not how it should be. We’ve decided to step up and keep them fed over the coming months.
“Chameleon Youth Housing’s Carmel Riethmuller and her people were just amazing. They’ve got hearts of gold. It took about two seconds for them to say what they were going to do and they did it within 24 hours.”
To find out more about Chameleon Youth Housing, visit the website
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