With winter coming to a close, the four Northern Tasmanian charities supported by The Examiner's Winter Relief Appeal have given insight into key issues facing those that did it tough during winter this year.
The Winter Relief Appeal annually raises funds for Launceston City Mission, the Salvation Army, Launceston Benevolent Society and St Vincent de Paul.
A key issue highlighted by all four charities was the rise in demand for blankets and rising power prices as key issue brought up with their organisations.
Benevolent Society chairman Don Jones said people were struggling to keep on top of hydro bills which also contributed to financial struggles.
"We've been giving out sleeping bags and a lot of blankets because people are cold and power's very expensive now and quite a few people are not turning the heater on because power's too expensive," he said.
"This is a tragic situation, we get help where we can but you're limited with what you can give out because of government funding and the likes."
City Mission chief executive Stephen Brown also cited rising power prices as a prominent issue this winter for struggling Tasmanians.
"Heating remains a significant expense for many Tasmanians in winter," he said.
"People who are renting are often forced to occupy older properties as they tend to be more affordable, however, often these houses may not be equipped with efficient heating and haven't been designed with the natural environment in mind".
St Vincent's Tasmania chief executive Lara Alexander said the need for food during winter was on the increase, with the multitude of food serving initiatives by the organisation, such as Dining With Friends, experiencing a rise in demand.
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"We find the demand for food has increased and quite often people might not have the capacity to cook for themselves and having a ready-made meal makes such a big difference," Mrs Alexander said.
"We're actually looking at launching a Dining with Friends in the Northwest in the Burnie and Devonport region."
Salvation Army spokesperson Anita Reeve said this winter had seen an increase in the number of people presenting at the emergency relief centre at risk of imminent homelessness.
She added that youth homelessness had become a particularly prevalent issue this winter
"People who are homeless often need some help getting back on their feet. Homelessness is one of the most distressing things a person can experience and the recovery process is a journey," Ms Reeve said.
Ms Reeve also cited low Youth Allowance and Newstart as key factors in people seeking help.
"Newstart is a critical part of Australia's income support system - it makes us different to America where unemployed people and their children are condemned to a life of poverty," she said.
"But Newstart is not working - the rate has not been increased in real terms in 25 years while living costs for people on low incomes have gone through the roof.
"Raising the single rate of Newstart and other allowances by at least $75 per week, and indexing the payment to wages, will get Newstart working by allowing people to focus on building the skills they need to take the opportunities to get them through tough times."
Mr Jones said not only had he noticed an increase in homeless youth forced to couch surf, but also middle-aged people experiencing hardship.
"We're finding that more young people are homeless but also more middle-aged [people] are homeless which is quite surprising," Mr Jones said.
"Now you find more middle-aged people being out in the cold through family slip-ups."
This year's Winter Relief Appeal has currently raised $61,790 with a goal of $75,000 by the end of winter.
The community is raising funds for four local charities as part of The Examiner's Winter Relief Appeal. Can you help?