Main Image: Rosies volunteers can be found from Cairns to the Gold Coast – pictured is a Cairns team preparing to hit the street. Listen: Rosies Acting CEO Jayne Shallcross speaks with Ken and Nicky about National Homelessness Week.
Every night around twenty thousand Queenslanders sleep without a permanent roof over their heads.
Many of those will end up sleeping rough and exposed to the elements.
Their stories are many and varied, although long term unemployment, mental health challenges and domestic violence are common themes.
This week is National Homelessness Week and 96five is highlighting the work of Queensland charity Rosies.
Since 1987, Rosies have been reaching out to those on the street, as well as the marginalised, the abandoned and socially isolated in our communities, with a helping hand of friendship.
Jayne Shallcross is the Acting CEO of Rosies and told 96five’s Ken and Nicky that homelessness was a significant issue across Brisbane.
“Homelessness can impact anyone for any number of reasons. People on the street are looking for acceptance, belonging, friendship and assistance and that is Rosies mission.”
Jayne said that it was important to journey alongside and show acceptance of those experiencing homelessness.
“Our focus is to ensure that the community we serve feels acknowledged, valued and included. The biggest thing you can do is to acknowledge – have a conversation – don’t just walk past someone.”
It’s this invisibility that leads to an overwhelming sense of social isolation, and is something that we can all help address.
“They will say that they don’t feel valued and that no one is interested in them and their story. A big part of what we can all do is to reach out and connect with those doing it tough.”
Rosies has been sharing friendship since 1987, when the mission began as a service to Gold Coast Schoolies of that year. During that week the Rosies team came into contact with the local homeless population and it was clear that Rosies was needed the whole year round.
Fast forward over 30 years and Rosies now has 1400 volunteers not only in Brisbane but across the state, from Cairns and Mareeba in Far North Queensland, to the Gold Coast and Toowoomba in the south.
If you’d like to support the mission of Rosies you can make a donation, volunteering your time or also by making an in-kind donation of goods. You can find a list in their Winter Newsletter.