With winter just around the corner and temperatures dropping, Brisbane City Council has given our homeless a helping hand.
They’ve been offered free flu shots, clothing and a hot meal to beat the cold weather.
Lara Hill reports.
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They arrived in their masses early this morning at RNA Showgrounds to take advantage of the free vital services being offered which many of Brisbane’s homeless population would usually go without.
Gifts as simple as a nice hot breakfast, free clothing, food and health services.
There were dozens of stalls, from OzCare to the Salvation Army, offering basic living supplies to help those less fortunate.
Adam Barnes, Brisbane Youth Service: “It provides an opportunity for people to come here without any strings attached to a place that’s really easy for them to get to talk to a range of services in one spot.”
This year struck volunteers as the busiest yet.
Donna Molloy, Brisbane School of Hairdressing: “We’ve actually had to set up extra stations today, an extra two or three stations, when we got here and there’s already a big line up of people.”
While the Homeless Connect event is a positive experience, the increasing numbers reveal a wider problem within the community.
Volunteers made it clear that homelessness in the Brisbane district should be made a high priority.
Adam Barnes, Brisbane Youth Service: “Homelessness is a major issue, particularly for young people.”
Last year’s event saw 230 haircuts, 1500 hot meals, 41 doctor appointments and 48 flu vaccinations issued. A number that is set to increase this year with Brisbane homelessness on the rise.
Phyllis Paterson, Head Chef Club 139: “Working at the club I’ve seen a lot of new faces since I’ve been there, if that’s any indication of homelessness on the rise perhaps yes it’s true.”
The Homeless Connect days are now held throughout Australia.
Lara Hill, QUT News