Free community event to support vulnerable residents

Published 9:00am 9 June 2024

Free community event to support vulnerable residents
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Families and individuals who are sleeping rough or struggling financially will have the opportunity to seek help and access an array of support services as part of the 11th annual Reconnect event on Thursday.

Hosted by the Moreton Bay Housing and Homelessness Network, Reconnect is a free event for Moreton Bay community members experiencing housing distress or homelessness to access information and support from government, non-government, community, and private services.

It will be held at the Redcliffe Hockey Fields from 8am-12.30pm on Thursday, June 13.

Shane Frost from Encircle Community Care says anyone who is looking for support is welcome to attend.

“We understand the challenges experienced by our community members by the cost of living and housing crisis. We can help by supporting people to navigate the service systems to link with the appropriate services to meet their individual needs,” Shane says.

“We understand that it can be difficult to ask for help and that’s why we operate from a person centred, non-judgmental approach when supporting people.

“There will be 35 government, non-government, business, community and volunteer organisations from the housing, homelessness, health, family and emergency relief/dignity sectors there on the day.

“Each of those services will be offering free advice, information, resources, and referrals to programs to meet their housing, health, and food relief needs.

“There will also be free health checks, including vaccines and hepatitis testing, as well as free haircuts, food and coffee, clothing, camping gear, kid’s items, cleaning products, bedding products, Justice of the Peace services, a free barbecue, music performances and lucky door prizes.”

Reconnect is proudly supported by the City of Moreton Bay, Encircle Community Services, The Breakfast Club, and the Redcliffe Hockey Club.

More people in need than ever

With more people finding themselves in dire situations due to the housing crisis and cost of living increases, Shane says the team from Encircle are doing everything they can to help.

“Supported by the Queensland Government and in response to the challenges faced by so many community members, Encircle has been able to increase its homelessness responses across Moreton Bay,” he says.

“Encircle’s Homeless Outreach Team conducts planned and targeted outreach with the Department of Housing ‘Critical Response Team’, whilst also conducting its own schedule of homelessness outreach responses across locations where homelessness is known or reported.

“Currently the Homeless Outreach Team are engaged with 155 client groups (predominantly individuals), of which 43 per cent are females, and continue to receive new referrals daily.”

Free community event to support vulnerable residents

Local support services

If you are unable to attend this year’s Reconnect event, you can access a wide range of services with the help of these local organisations:

Encircle Community Services

There are three neighbourhood centres across the region which Encircle run, including Pine Rivers, Kallangur and Redcliffe.

All neighbourhood centres are open from 9am-3pm every Monday to Friday and can support community members with emergency wellbeing assistance such as counselling, support for older people, family support, and homelessness, tenancy and housing support.

They also collaborate with other community groups to support enhanced strength and resilience across the Moreton Bay region.

The following services are available at each centre:

Pine Rivers Neighbourhood Centre: 685 Gympie Road, Lawnton - every weekday subject to availability - hot meals, clothing, blankets, toiletries, emergency food parcels, hot showers and laundry facilities.

Phone: 3889 0063

Kallangur Neighbourhood Centre, 51 Marsden Road, Kallangur - toiletries and clothing, subject to availability.

Phone: 3465 3200

Redcliffe Neighbourhood Centre, 1 Lamington Drive, Redcliffe - clothing, emergency food parcels, toiletries, blankets, hot meals, subject to availability.

Phone: 3284 3081

The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club is a free crisis centre where the homeless or disadvantaged can access information about local services, receive emergency food, clothing and other supplies.

They provide free community meals every Tuesday and Thursday from 4.30-5.30pm, as well as a hot breakfast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning from 7-8am.

They can also provide emergency food parcels and supplies for rough sleepers.

They are also open Tuesday and Thursday from 9am-1pm for people who are sleeping rough to come in and get supplies, charge their phone, receive information about local services, or just have a quiet place to sit.

Orange Sky is also available at The Breakfast Club every Thursday from 12.15-4pm.

The Breakfast Club also runs an outreach program on Sunday and Wednesday nights between 5.30-7.30pm. Volunteers go out in a van to various points around the Redcliffe Peninsula to hand out drinks and food packs to those experiencing homelessness.

The Breakfast Club is located at the Clontarf Community Hall, 34 Cornelius St, Clontarf.

Phone: 0467 811 380

There are multiple organisations spread out across the Moreton Bay region offering clothing, blankets, food parcels and more that are not mentioned here, but will be appearing at Reconnect.

If you are in dire need, please reach out to the service that is closest to you or best suits your needs.


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