Brisbane Streetlevel connects with housing residents
28 July 2015
Brisbane Streetlevel Mission community members have recently introduced a Friday afternoon barbecue and fellowship time, to connect with people living in a local housing complex.
Andy Rogers, a Salvation Army adherent, Streetlevel community member and resident at the housing complex, initiated the idea and is has been integral to its implementation.
“Andy is a real inspiration,” said Major Bryce Davies, Streetlevel Mission team leader. “He and a couple of other guys in the complex have been doing a small-group Bible study with me over the past year and we have talked a lot about men’s issues, discipleship and being in the community.
“Andy wanted to commit to social action, to outreach, and he is the driver of what we’re doing here.”
Andy said he felt committed to helping the people in his housing complex, the majority of whom struggle with mental illness, isolation, disabilities and addictions to drugs, alcohol and gambling.
“I wanted to identify the needs of this community, help fill the gaps and make the presence of Streetlevel felt in our area,” Andy explained.
“Faith is missional and I have a real heart for the residents. I wanted to get them out for a break, mixing with each other and talking to others who care about them.
“I didn’t want it to just be a feeding program though; this is a party!”
Andy, Major Davies and 11 volunteers from Streetlevel took the barbecue down to the complex late last year and made hamburgers for the residents. Coffee and soft drinks were also available.
“One man, who spends 18 hours a day locked in his room, came down for dinner and talked with people,” said Andy. “Other men and women came and the response was just so positive.
“A few of the residents want to be involved and help so I am now working with the residents’ group to see how we can work together. People feel so valued when they’re reaching out to others.”
To prevent resource duplication and to more effectively help the residents, Major Davies and Andy have invited other agencies and caseworkers to be part of the outreach.
Andy and his team plan to continue serving and meeting with the residents for six months, before evaluating the next step forward.
By Simone Worthing