Walking from Willunga to Adelaide for homelessness

Ready to walk: On the start line of the 2017 event. Photo: Supplied.
Ready to walk: On the start line of the 2017 event. Photo: Supplied.

The Willunga Wanderers walking team have spent the last few months training in preparation to walk 50km between Willunga and Adelaide, all in the name of fundraising for the homeless.

Taking on the challenge on Friday, August 2 as an extreme version of the Hutt St Centres Walk a Mile event, the Willunga Wanderers have completed the feat every year since 2013.

Willunga Wanderers Event Organiser, Jock Harvey said that the event has grown from 4 people to 40 people, becoming more impressive but also a logistical challenge.

"This year we will be heading to McLaren Vale Primary School and walking around the oval with the students their before continuing on our way to Adelaide.

"The event is half about raising money and half about raising awareness of homelessness," he said.

Mr Harvey added that homelessness has changed drastically, more women are now becoming homeless and the image of homelessness being an old man in a trenchcoat with a bottle of alcohol is incorrect.

The Adelaide Walk a Mile event which takes place from Victoria Park, Wakefield Road to South Park Lands, Hutt Road attracts thousands of people every year.

Hutt St Centre Development and Partnerships Manager Michael Francis said the walk is the biggest fundraising event for the Hutt St Centre in the year raising more than $400,000.

"Walk a Mile in my Boots also increases awareness, education and empathy for the 6,000 people who are experiencing homelessness in SA currently.

"Approximately 50 schools get involved each year either walking through the city or around their own schools. This educates up to 9,000 students each year on the need to support less advantaged.

"Every year they (the WIllunga Wanderers) are our largest team fundraisers with more than $50,000," he said.

"However, they are also wonderful ambassadors for Hutt St Centre in their local community and help spread empathy for people experiencing homelessness throughout their networks."

According to Mr Francis the three main reasons for homelessness are mental health, financial or marital breakdowns and domestic violence.

The 2016 Census revealed that 43% of people experiencing homelessness are females - many of which are fleeing domestic violence with young families.

Anyone looking to take part in any of the Walk a Mile events or to find out more information can do so at https://www.walkamile.org.au/