On Tuesday 4th of August 2015 Newcastle hosted the Hunter Homeless Connect Day at the Broadmeadow PCYC for homeless and disadvantaged in the area. The Governor General attended and his aide, Jo Dixon, who recognised the positive atmosphere and spoke of how wonderful it was that there was no air of stigma for anyone.

Among those that attended and provided products and services, there was:

  • Catholic Care
  • Oz Harvest
  • FACS
  • HNE Health
  • Coles Supermarket
  • Wallsend/Maryland Rotary
  • Newcastle TAFE
  • Soul Cafe
  • Team Macquarie
  • Wesley Mission
  • Anglicare

Services provided included healthcare and support for homeless people, educational services, support for accessing various services, a live band which entertained the crowd and of course – free food!

The Plymouth Brethren Rapid Relief Team (RRT) was contacted to provide catering assistance for the day. The Rapid Relief Team was onsite from 7:30am till 3pm, serving breakfast and lunch. About 300 people enjoyed the pancakes and fruit for breakfast and chicken, bacon and salad rolls were provided for lunch to approximately 450 persons. These meals were very well received and enjoyed by all, the delicious aroma of the food attracting many back for seconds!

A number of persons who visited the RRT stall for a meal said “We saw you people the other day in Central Park in Sydney, you’re doing a great job, really good food, we came on the train from Sydney to come here”.

Another summed it up with “to actually see you guys putting faith into action is a tremendous thing”.

It was a fantastic experience for the Newcastle RRT to serve those in need from the area, and to work with other organisations in the community. We look forward to coming back next year!

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