The Salvation Army has this week expanded its ‘Street Teams’ initiative beyond the streets of Melbourne and Perth to Hobart’s Salamanca entertainment precinct.
Each Friday and Saturday night from 10pm – 3am, volunteers will move around Hobart’s city streets to provide a positive influence amongst the party-goers.
Armed with lollies, bottled water and thongs, the teams will provide practical assistance to people on the waterfront late at night. The teams will also watch out for people’s personal safety by providing a ‘chill out safe space’, assistance to reach a secure taxi rank or a safe ride home.
Social Programme Secretary for The Salvation Army Tasmania, Stuart Foster, says the program has been successful in both Melbourne and Perth and hopes it will achieve the same benefits in Hobart.
“The group of dedicated volunteers wear fluorescent branded vests and can be easily recognised by the public. The program is about young people positively engaging with other young people, assisting in reuniting them with their friends and getting them home safely.”
A ‘sobering up’ unit will be available at the Salvation Army’s Bridge Centre if patrons are too intoxicated to look after themselves.
Volunteers will also serve free tea and coffee from a coffee cart set up near the Esplanade taxi rank to encourage drivers and patrons to use the rank, as opposed to hailing taxis in undesignated areas.
The Street Teams initiative is a collaborative effort between The Salvation Army, Tasmania Police and the City of Hobart.
Lord Mayor of Hobart Alderman Sue Hickey says “this effort combines essential resources to improve public safety in Hobart’s busy Salamanca entertainment district.”
Tasmania Police Hobart Division Inspector David Plumpton said the Street Teams form part of the Safer Hobart Community Partnership. “By working together as a community we can enhance safety and the perception of safety for our city,” he said.
For information about how you can join the team of trained volunteers call 03 6278 8140.
Read more about the street teams in Melbourne and Perth.