Community rallies to support the homeless and disadvantaged

Published 4:45pm 4 August 2022

Community rallies to support the homeless and disadvantaged
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

“Everyone deserves a safe place to call home.”

That was the message Encircle CEO Chris Staines spoke about during the 10th annual Reconnect Event on Thursday morning.

Roughly 350 people attended the free community event at The Breakfast Club in Redcliffe, which was hosted by the Moreton Bay Housing and Homelessness Network.

“There were about 30 different booths representing health professionals, private businesses, and government and community organisations – all providing services and information,” Chris said.

“There were a variety of practical services available including free haircuts, clothing, blankets, immunisations, hot food and drinks, as well as food hampers, mindfulness activities and service-specific information and referrals."

A total of 65 haircuts were provided for people who couldn't afford to attend a salon or barber shop. 

Chris said the large number of people in attendance proved many are committed to the cause to end homelessness. 

“By attending, we are demonstrating our commitment to the idea that everyone has a place in our community, that everyone deserves a safe place to call home," he said. 

“Whether we work in a local business or a government office; whether we are personally struggling with finding or keeping a roof over our heads or we are an elected representative of our government - we all have a place in our community.

“All of us also have a role in addressing homelessness and we all have a role reconnecting people who have no home, no safe place to stay.”

The event was held in conjunction with Homelessness Week, which runs from August 1-7.

See more photos from the day below.

More people in dire need of assistance

This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Reconnect Event, which shines the light on the challenges being faced by people living with homelessness in Moreton Bay.

“This 10-year anniversary reflects a lot of hard work that has been dedicated to ending homelessness, but unfortunately, the issue is not solved,” Chris said.

“In fact, homelessness is increasing in our community. The housing crisis that we hear so much about in the media and around the barbecue is real and it affects real people.

“The same old reasons for people becoming homeless apply today, just as they did 10 years ago. This includes financial stress, unemployment, mental health issues and the pressures of daily life, as well as the lack of affordable housing.

“More recently, on top of these factors, people who are homeless are telling us that have been affected by domestic and family violence, and that the increasing cost of living is a big problem - even for people who have jobs.”

Who you can turn to for help

There are a number of organisations within the Moreton Bay Region you can turn to for help should you or someone you know need it.

These include Encircle, The Breakfast Club Redcliffe, Chameleon Housing, The Salvation Army, and Rosies.

There are multiple organisations spread out across Moreton Bay offering clothing, blankets, food parcels and more that are not mentioned here, so if you are in dire need, please reach out to the many services that are closest to you or best suits your needs.

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