Brisbane and Moreton Bay Unites for National Homelessness Week
Brisbane and Moreton Bay businesses came together to support more than 350 people experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness with supplies, services, and information at the 10th Annual Reconnect Event coordinated by the Moreton Bay Housing and Homelessness Network on Thursday 4 August in Redcliffe.
Hosted in conjunction with National Homelessness Week (1-7 August), more than 20 health professionals, private businesses, and government and community organisations converged to provide support for attendees. Services on the day included free haircuts, clothing, blankets, immunisations, hot food and beverages, food hampers, mindfulness activities, and information and referrals for the increasing number of people in Moreton Bay without a place to call home.
Encircle Homestay senior case manager and Moreton Bay Housing and Homelessness Network committee member, Rose Butler, said “Reconnect provides an opportunity for people who are homeless or need support to keep their homes, to connect with community organisations and services. At the same time, we aim to raise awareness of homelessness in our region and dispel myths about the causes of homelessness.”
“The impact of Covid, housing shortages, domestic and family violence, and the overall economic environment has put homelessness under the spotlight. We are supporting those newly exposed to housing vulnerability, while also supporting members of the community across all levels of the homelessness spectrum, including those that have been unemployed and living rough for years, often with significant mental and physical health issues,” Rose added.
For hairdresser Alisha Johnson of Absolutelyou Hairstyling in Petrie, this was the third year she has volunteered her time to provide free haircuts at Reconnect.
“My awareness of homelessness has changed so much since I first responded to the event’s callout for hairdressers in 2019,” she said.
“Homelessness, to me, used to be something that happened to other people. The moment I saw a woman that I know seeking support was the moment I knew homelessness could happen to anyone,” Alisha added.
Since volunteering at Reconnect, Alisha is now also offering free haircuts at The Breakfast Club which she runs every 6 weeks on a Thursday afternoon.
Helen Bambling, The Breakfast Club social worker and Moreton Bay Housing and Homelessness Network committee member, has extended an invitation to businesses and organisations to participate in the Moreton Bay Housing & Homelessness Network Action Plan. To register interest, email firstname.lastname@example.org