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Vinnies WA to close all 54 retail shops and services to the most vulnerable West Aussies could be impacted.

Vinnies WA today has announced the closure of all of its retail shops from 5pm today due to the ongoing public health response to COVID-19.

Vinnies WA CEO, Susan Rooney explained that, “Over the past few weeks as the COVID-19 situation has continued to escalate, we have considered all options but it has become clear that we are no longer able to operate in this current environment. Therefore, we made the incredibly difficult decision to stand down many of our wonderful shop and distribution centre employees for the time being.”

“Vinnies WA derives 85% of its revenue from our shops, fundraising events and donors. These funds are poured back into the most vulnerable and needy in our community through programs and services such as our Emergency Assistance program, Financial Counselling, homelessness, mental health and community housing services,” said Ms Rooney.

“However, with our retail operation now closed, and some fundraising events cancelled, without additional income our ability to continue to provide all of these services, and at the capacity required, is under threat.”

Vinnies WA currently assists over 57,000 West Australians in need each year and the requests for our services in the coming months will escalate.

“We greatly appreciate the Government’s announcement on Sunday of additional specific funding for Emergency Relief and Financial Counselling. However some of our services, such as our youth homelessness services, will not be assisted by this announcement and are largely self-funded through our shop revenue and donations.”

“What we really need now is the support of the Western Australian public. Some of the most vulnerable people in our community receive critical specialist support through our Homelessness and Mental Health Services. Our Emergency Assistance program is essential to the lives of thousands of West Australians most in need, providing food and/or food vouchers, support with utility, medical and other bills, assisting people with rent and other associated housing costs.”

“Western Australians are incredibly generous and resilient, so we will get through this time by thinking of each other with every action; and taking care of the most vulnerable in our communities, our neighbours, and ourselves.” Ms Rooney said.