Homeless Connect brings together business and community groups at a one-day event to give free services to people experiencing homelessness or those at risk of homelessness. The project has helped more than 14,700 people since Brisbane City Council held the first Homeless Connect in Australia in November 2006. Similar events are now held in Perth, Hobart, Adelaide and on the Gold Coast.

All guests and volunteers were provided with arm bands to record numbers of visitors

Homeless Connect events provide many services to underprivileged members of society such as, doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and massage therapists, haircuts by volunteer barbers and hairdressers, immunization, personal grooming items and various clothing items, all provided free of charge.

One of the many clothing stalls

RRT Brisbane were again invited to assist with this very worthwhile event and over 20 team members assisted at the event in three areas – the Entry/Exit Team, the Kitchen Team and in the Professional Suite. The day started briskly at 7:00am for the Entry/Exit Team, applying wrist bands to the guests as they queued in anticipation.

The Kitchen Team also sprang into action providing breakfast refreshments to those waiting in the line. Once the gates were opened there was a substantial influx of eager guests. All hands were on deck to facilitate the wrist banding, general concierge and food preparation. Another role was assisting with the guest flow in the Professional Suite by helping guests book appointments with the health care professionals.

The sign in desk was a busy hub, and a central Information Centre for all who had questions

Approximately 800 meals were prepared and served, with many so appreciating it that they came back for more. When the Homeless Connect volunteers found time for a break from their various duties the RRT was honoured to provide food to them also.

By mid-afternoon the guests had finished lunch, collected clothing and had their health care needs attended to and RRT assisted guests with their newly acquired belongings to the train or busses.

It was exhilarating and rewarding to all RRT volunteers to see how an everyday service we all take for granted can mean so much to a recipient in need.

The Brisbane Mayor, Graham Quirk personally thanked the RRT team for their kindness and hard work

Homeless Connect provides a wonderful outreach to the less fortunate members in the community, and RRT was privileged to have the opportunity to participate in this event and to recognise and support many persons in crisis who are frequently forgotten by society at large.

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