People experiencing homelessness in Maryborough will soon have access to additional support to get back on their feet as plans to open a new 12-bed homeless shelter get underway.
Spearheaded by Sheltered by Grace and PresCare, the initiative recently drew the attention of the wife of the Grand Master of the Freemasons United Grand Lodge of Queensland, Waveny Holland. Along with the support of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, Waveny has donated $3,160 towards renovations to the Neptune Street site. A range of essential supplies including toiletries, socks and underwear, were also donated.
“Being Christmas, I hosted a children’s Christmas function for Freemason families. It’s as a result of their generosity that I was able to raise these funds, which Hand Heart Pocket then matched,” Waveny said.
The afternoon of fun and games also included a performance by magician and Freemason Eric Summons, who was hugely popular in the 80s for his work on TV. Eric kindly donated his time as his contribution.
“When you hear that something like 89 people in Maryborough are turned away from shelters each day, simply due to a lack of space, it shows that this new accommodation couldn’t come soon enough,” Waveny said.
“I understand that a call has been put out for tradesmen to donate their time whilst others in the community are donating building materials, therefore many people are doing what they can to support the initiative,” she said.
In addition to providing a safe place to stay, there will be 24/7 onsite support at the Shelter. Plus, with the local hospital and mental health services on its doorstep, residents will have a range of services close at hand.
This is the second time that the Grand Master’s wife has donated to Sheltered by Grace. In September 2019 with the help of Hand Heart Pocket, she donated $2,000 for a new oven and a range of essential items to the Sheltered by Grace homeless shelter in Logan City.
Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said supporting charities that provide a hand up for those in times of adversity aligns with their values.
“Alleviating misfortune and empowering people to lead more independent lives is at the heart of our work. Similarly, backing initiatives that enhance men’s mental and physical health and women’s financial and physical security forms part of our charitable intent,” Gary said.
“We are proud to once again provide grassroots support to the Grand Master’s wife in her efforts to improve outcomes for people living on the streets in Maryborough,” he said.
Photo: The wife of the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland, Waveny Holland handing over the $3,160 donation to Sheltered by Grace founder Jason Loakes.