Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by the floods in the Northern Rivers region, with many left homeless and their possessions washed away. As floodwaters recede, the focus is now on recovery efforts as well as providing immediate and long-term help to those affected by the floods to get on with their lives.
A fundraiser has been set up to help the Northern Rivers queer community and, in just two days, has raised over $11,500 of its $50,000 goal.
Queers Of Lismore Need Your Support
“We have just experienced unprecedented flooding in Bundjalung Country, with floodwaters peaking at over fourteen metres, far exceeding our highest recorded levels,” said Annie Monks, who set up the fundraiser, on the GoFundMe campaign page.
“Many of our beautiful queer friends are seriously impacted by these floods. Our lives threatened, our houses are submerged, our businesses turned upside down, our possessions ruined.”
Monks explained that the money raised will be distributed directly to LGBTQI community members who have been impacted by the floods in Lismore and the Northern Rivers region.
“As the days unfold, we are coming to terms with the level of destruction, and our list of people who have been impacted keeps growing,” added Monks in an update on the campaign page.
ACON Launches Flood Crisis Support Service
With the devastating scale of the damage and destruction emerging, NSW LGBTQ health organisation ACON has launched a crisis support service for community members impacted by the natural disaster.
“We are seeing incredible acts of selflessness from some of our Lismore-based ACON staff who, despite their own needs, have been engaging with our communities in evacuation centres and other places of refuge in the area, supporting people in this crisis,” said ACON’s Deputy CEO Karen Price.
The service will offer phone or online support “short-term counselling, initial assessment, and urgent psychological support, as well as care coordination to support people to link to local resources, information, and assistance (including financial assistance and accommodation).”
The service will run till mid-April, when it will be reassessed.
Helping Our Communities
“We know many will be worried about medication, food, clean water, and other immediate needs. We are, and will remain, connected to the broader emergency service response to help our communities navigate and link in with these essential services,” Price said.
ACON’s Lismore office was one of the premises impacted by the floodwaters and will remain closed until further notice, the organisation said. Price urged people to continue to exercise caution and stay safe by checking alerts, heeding warnings and not entering floodwaters.
To connect to ACON’s service for the LGBTQI community affected by the floods, call 1800 063 060 or visit aconhealth.org.au/intake_form.