Pass it on Clothing & Co Sydney

People living on the streets has sadly become a normal sight in Sydney and shows that the city has lost its way, according to one social enterprise worker.

Chris Vagg is the co-founder of the Sydney-based, Pass it on Clothing & Co, which has been providing quality clothing to Sydney’s homeless community since 2016.

Vagg told news.com.au that he’s seen more and more people seek out his services since the beginning of 2023.

“Everyone is doing it tough right across the community, but the trend we’ve seen since January 2023 is a sharp increase in new faces presenting at all our services,” he said.

In a recent Instagram post, Vagg commented on the state of Sydney in 2023, highlighting that Sydney “has clearly lost its soul”.

“The Sydney where people struggling need support to clothe themselves. The Sydney where people struggling need support to feed themselves,” he wrote.

“The Sydney where people struggling need support to get back on their feet. The Sydney that has no appetite, capability or vision to address it.

“The Sydney that has let down it’s most vulnerable. The Sydney no one wants to talk about or acknowledge. This is our Sydney [in] 2023.”

It’s been seven years since Vagg and his co-founder Olga Puga gave out their first 40 articles of clothing and they’ve grown substantially since then.

“The problem keeps getting worse and governments still engage the same providers who still get worse results and we go nowhere but backwards,” Vagg told news.com.au.

“It’s people’s lives we’re dealing with and Sydney’s lost its soul because it can’t see the fact that we’re trying to help human beings and it’s just getting in the way with rubbish.

“Every day we do nothing, people suffer and every day the community pays for it.”

Vagg also told news.com.au about a new innovative project in the works to help tackle the public housing crisis called the Pass it on Academy.

This initiative aims to take 10 people between 25-45 that are living in public housing and are unemployed, and give them the skills needed to be independent and move into private housing.

“Over 100 days they’ll do workplace training with our partners during the day, then we’ll provide them with all the life skills required to live a purposeful, self-sustainable life on graduation,” he said.

At the time of writing, the GoFundMe set up to get this started has reached $26,319 out of a$50,000 target.

When asked where he hopes to be in a year’s time, Vagg aims to have the academy operating and for more of Sydney’s homeless to have a roof over their head.

“I would hope that within 12 months I’ll be cutting that ribbon, getting people out of suffering. People who don’t have housing into housing and the community doesn’t pay for that anymore,” he said.

“Maybe that’s ambitious but I’ve always been ambitious and the vision is there.”

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