Tuesday 28th of April dawned clear and warm as the Brisbane RRT prepared to provide a BBQ meal for homeless people at the Wesley Mission in Spring Hill. The Wesley Mission usually does at least one hot meal for homeless people per week. As the RRT in Brisbane has become aware of this charitable undertaking, they have supported the Mission and committed to doing at least one of these meals every 2 months. The Wesley Mission was impressed at the efficiency and organisation of the RRT, summed up in the feedback from staff there on Tuesday “we can’t believe how you guys did this so fast and organized”. There are approximately 350 people living without proper accommodation in the 5km square of Brisbane’s CBD, and it is always unpredictable how many will turn up at a Wesley Mission BBQ. It is only publicized at the Mission itself, and through word of mouth through the homeless community in the area.

A team of 10 RRT personnel cooked and served a meal of a hamburger, salad, fruit and tea and coffee. 70 hamburgers were made and served. Not knowing where their next meal would come from meant some of the clients came back for seconds and thirds. One client who stayed for approximately 2 hours even came back for sixths!

The experience provided the RRT members an opportunity not only to support these people practically with a meal, but also the chance to show them respect and empathy. It became obvious that homelessness not only affects someone physically, but the opportunity for emotional and social connection is also reduced – many clients seemed to appreciate the pleasant greetings and the chance for a conversation equally as much as the meal.  Because homeless people are often invisible in greater society, sitting in the shadows, sleeping on park benches and given a wide berth by passers-by, being given the dignity of respect is rare and highly valued.

This was evidenced in the comments that were heard, “You people and the Wesley Mission, you do a great job. I have been around this area for 6 years and there has always been somewhere to turn to. I just want you to know that people like you guys are appreciated out there”, and “God’s shining down on you people, you probably know that.”

Of course the meal was highly praised as well! Feedback included comments such as “the buns are SO fresh! You can’t beat soft fresh bread”, “Just love this water – my favourite drink”, and “There’s nothing better than fruit – people can say what they like, but fruit is the best food on earth”.

The Brisbane RRT would like to thank the clients for the positive feedback, and the opportunity to serve them.  Also to be thanked is the Wesley Mission, who does a fantastic continual job of supporting Brisbane’s homeless people. The RRT appreciate what they do and look forward to working with them at future meals.

Related Articles

Community | Compassion | Support

Help us make a difference

Contribute through monthly or one-off donations and support the Rapid Relief Team’s work across Australia