In New South Wales, the number of people experiencing homelessness has risen by 27 per cent in just five years. In Sydney alone, there are more than 5,000 people experiencing homelessness.
The Sydney Homeless Connect took place yesterday, Tuesday July 3 at the Sydney Town Hall, and the Rapid Relief Team (RRT) stepped up to help break the cycle of homelessness.
More than 30 RRT volunteers handed out over 1,600 bacon and egg rolls, 1,600 coffees and 400 hot chocolates and teas coffees yesterday at the Sydney Homeless Connect to more than 1,300 people who are experiencing homelessness.
The Sydney Homeless Connect runs the annual event at Sydney Town Hall, which encourages service and care providers to gather in an accessible, public space to connect with people experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of experiencing homelessness.
The RRT has volunteered at the annual Connect every year since 2015 and has provided hot meals and beverages to the homeless, alongside services such as financial and legal advice, and housing assistance.
Last year, the RRT served 1150 meals at the Sydney Homeless Connect, and its volunteers dedicated more than 187 hours to supporting the event.
An initiative of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, the RRT is staffed by Church volunteers who provide catering services during a range of charitable events and emergencies.
Lloyd Grimshaw from the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, said the RRT jumped at the chance to contribute again at the Sydney Homeless Connect this year.
“The number of people experiencing homelessness in NSW is staggering. The 2016 Census showed there are now 1 in 200 people experiencing homelessness,” Mr Grimshaw said.
“The RRT recognise we must help combat homelessness. We are thrilled to support the Connect again and continue to work towards ending the cycle of homelessness,” Mr Grimshaw said.
“The Sydney Homeless Connect is an opportunity for some of the most vulnerable people in our community to access vital services, and to receive a delicious hot meal from RRT in a safe place.
Ben Shirtliff Interview on 2SM