People struggling to put clothes on their back during the coronavirus-sparked economic downturn can no longer shop at Lifeline stores in Queensland.
The charity will close its stores’ doors on Thursday “until further notice” due to the risk of the virus to staff, including volunteers and customers.
It is understood more than 100 Lifeline op shops across the state will be closed.
“We’ll be doing everything we can to support our amazing retail employees and volunteers during this temporary closure, and have no intention of reducing positions across our stores,” said spokesman Jamie Mackay.
The closures come despite thousands of people in Queensland losing work during the health crisis amid government measures to try to curb the spread of the virus.
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Mackay said its crisis support and suicide prevention phone line on 13 11 14 will continue to operate.
But it needed more funding from the state government to meet “unprecedented demand from the Queensland community due to the financial and mental health impact of COVID-19 on individuals and families”.
“We’re fielding an unprecedented volume of calls at the moment, and we’re struggling to answer the phone to everyone,” Mackay said.