Community centre better equipped to respond to rise in homelessness

Redlands Community Centre 2 Large

Throughout the pandemic, people sleeping rough in Redland City have been able to rely on Redland Community Centre for support, thanks to their dedicated staff.

However, the rise in case management soon overwhelmed the centre, whose resources were already stretched. That’s when the local Freemasons stepped in and secured a $10,000 COVID-19 Emergency Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

The funding has enabled the organisation to employ, Jess, pictured here with Redlands Freemasons Lodge Secretary Ken Rose, to provide administration support to the Homeless United team.

“Redlands Freemasons Lodge is proud to have championed this cause in the local area during these trying times,” Mr Rose said.

“The pandemic has affected us all, but what is most important is looking out for the most vulnerable in our community.

“Redland Community Centre is at the coal face, and we knew the funding would make a difference for them.”

Redland Community Centre CEO Allison Wicks said they were pleased to welcome Jess to the team and said she was already making an immense difference to help them get through both the face to face and phone assessments, so that people could get the help they need.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, we were operating on skeleton staff because our volunteers weren’t allowed on site, so we were really struggling. Even now, we’re still experiencing higher than usual requests for assistance so we’re very grateful for this funding,” Ms Wicks said.

Hand Heart Pocket Acting Chief Executive Officer Robert Qualtrough said the Freemason charity had awarded more than $785,000 in funding to charities across the state during the pandemic, consisting of COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants.

“Our focus has been on supporting our current charity partners as well as providing additional support at a grassroots level, in consultation with local Freemason Lodges.

“We are pleased to have been able to provide this timely hand up to Redland Community Centre.”

Photo: “I am loving this job and appreciate this opportunity made possible by Redland Freemasons Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket. I am super excited to be part of the Redland Community Centre,” RCC Administration Assistant Jess said. Jess is seen here next to Redlands Freemasons Lodge Secretary Ken Rose.

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