HELPING HANDS: The Toowoomba Women's Collective leadership team (from left) Megan O'Shannessy, CEO Amanda Dalton, Jacqui Armstrong and Susy Wenitong raised more than $65,000 to open a drop-in service centre for homeless women.
HELPING HANDS: The Toowoomba Women's Collective leadership team (from left) Megan O'Shannessy, CEO Amanda Dalton, Jacqui Armstrong and Susy Wenitong raised more than $65,000 to open a drop-in service centre for homeless women. Michael Nolan

How would you feel if your granny lived in her car?

IMAGINE a grandmother who spent her life raising a family and looking after her husband only to have him die early with few savings in the bank.

She cannot afford rent on a single pension and ends up living in her car until she finds a job.

Unfortunately, as an older woman with few marketable skills she cannot get a job and her temporary homelessness becomes permanent.

This situation is common with women aged 50-80 making up a growing percentage of homeless people living on the Toowoomba's streets.

"This is a national problem that crept up on us," Toowoomba Women's Collective CEO Amanda Dalton said.

Helping out: Toowoomba hairdressers opens her salon to the homeless.
Helping out: Toowoomba hairdressers opens her salon to the homeless.

Hope is not far away, with the collective set in the coming weeks to open the doors of Protea Place, a drop-in centre where homeless women can access professional and practical help.

It will be a safe place to do laundry, shower, get a meal and speak to a counsellor, seven days a week.

The collective raised close to $65,000 in the past year to open the centre, which will be the first of its kind in the Garden City.

They are about $5000 short of their goal and asked the public to dig deep so they can secure a year-long lease for a building in Russell St.

"We want to have our expenses covered so we can be there for the long haul," she said.

To help out phone Mrs Dalton on 0403 756 783.