Standing together to rebuild lives
14 October 2014
The 21-year-old joined The Salvation Army’s Brisbane Streetlevel program about a year ago to beat her drug addiction, and has been helping to prepare and cook meals.
“I was having family problems, like my mum didn’t want to know me and I was getting into the drugs and just drinking too much and drowning my sorrows,” she explains.
After getting her life back on track, Rachael began volunteering at Streetlevel where teams support homeless and disadvantaged people in inner-Brisbane through meals, meaningful volunteer work and a loving community.
When the floods hit, Rachael was displaced from the Goodna home she was staying in by the raging waters, but despite her devastation she wanted to help others first.
She joined a group of Salvation Army volunteers and began repairing the worst- affected houses in Goodna, 20 kilometres south-west of Brisbane. In partnership with Westlife Church and Global Care, The Salvation Army has not only been helping to rebuild houses, but helping people rebuild their lives.
Streetlevel Team Leader, Salvation Army Major Bryce Davies says teams travelled to Goodna three times a week for months to rebuild homes and also offered devastated residents meals, fantastic fair trade coffee from our mobile coffee van, household goods and a shoulder to cry on when needed.
“These volunteers are people who are homeless or living in shelters or cheap housing and are really looking for something meaningful to do,” says Bryce. “Being able to give back to others is a hugely positive experience and helps them in their own recovery from the various issues that have led them to the streets.”
Rachael says she wouldn’t have been able to help others without the love and support of the team at Streetlevel: “I’ve friends around me now. I’ve got people to tell me, ‘Rachel you can’t do that,’ if I start to go down the wrong track. It’s a really lovely environment I’m in now.”