Homelessness is a growing issue in Brisbane with Aussies struggling to meet the rising cost of living but it’s nothing new for Access Street Vans.
For the last 25 years, Pastor Russell Witham and his team have been ministering to Brisbane’s homeless.
Each week they drive vans out to different parts of Brisbane and share a message of hope over a good meal.
Ps Russ and his wife Betty run Access Dream Centre Church and provide fresh food parcels at their drop in hub at Mansfield.
96five’s Ken and Nicky caught up with Ps Russ this Homelessness Week to learn about the need in Brisbane.
“We go out into the highways and byways and we present the gospel as Jesus would have done” Ps Russ said.
“As Jesus gave them loaves and fishes, we give them lovely chicken.”
“They have a chicken meal with the gospel. It’s wonderful to see the people responding, they’re so hungry”. Ps Russ – Access Street Vans
Access Street Vans is focused on providing food relief and encouragement to anyone in need whether it’s pensioners struggling financially or those sleeping rough.
“We give the food out to anybody and everybody. Whatever religion they are, we have no limitations, everyone’s equal”
Ps Russ hasn’t lost his passion for the marginalised despite 25 years of unpaid ministry on the streets of Brisbane.
“They are valued and there’s no doubt about that and they are special people.”
“They’re not a problem, they’re someone special” – Ps Russ
You can support Access Street Vans through a tax deductible donation or joining the ministry team as a volunteer. Learn more and get in touch with Ps Russ via the Access Street Vans website.
In Australia there are over 116,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night. National Homeless Week runs from 1-7 August 2022 and aims to raise awareness of the impact of homelessness on Australia.
Listen to the full interview with Ps Russ in the player above.
Feature Image: Ps Russell Witham and the 96five team. Left to Right – Andrew, Jess, Nicky, Ps Russ, Ken, Tim and Steff.