Community encouraged to give back for Homeless Connect event

Published on 19 April 2024


Rockhampton Region residents are being encouraged to extend a helping hand to those in need as the annual Homeless Connect event returns for another year on Thursday 4 July 2024.

Communities and Heritage Councillor Drew Wickerson said the Homeless Connect initiative helps those who are doing it tough and in need of essential products and services that would otherwise be difficult to access.

“The past couple of years have been really tough for many people in our local community and this event gives us the opportunity to come together and help those who are vulnerable, facing homelessness or experiencing other hardships,” Cr Wickerson said.

“More than 11,000 services have been accessed since the first Homeless Connect event in 2010, and we hope this year we can keep delivering to those in need.

“When those who have fallen on hard times come to our event, they’ll receive a warm welcome, food, clothes, and access to lots of free services like haircuts, health checks, help finding accommodation and financial advice.

"Homeless Connect plays a crucial role in our community by fostering connections and providing essential resources and we are calling on the community to donate items that will be made up into hampers and given out on the day.

“Items such as non-perishable food, toiletries, hygiene products, shoes, clothing, and linen are always in high demand and greatly appreciated."

In 2023, over 360 community members took advantage of the one-stop-shop service that the event provides.

Anglicare Central Queensland Homelessness Case Manager, Samantha Sanderson said this is a great event that Anglicare have proudly supported since its inception.

“This event gives clients the option to link in with different services for free and receive information of who and where they can get help if they need it,” Ms Sanderson said.

“There are more people coming through that have become homeless from no fault of their own - some people have been in their rentals for over ten years and being asked to vacate as the owner has decided to sell the property or put the rent up so much that they can’t manage the increase.

“This means more people are finding them self-homeless and therefore unsure of what to do and how to go about getting rentals, as the process has changed so much over the years.

“It’s great that people can attend this event for free and receive guidance about different services, or even receive a haircut or have a shower if they need.

“It has been so successful in helping people find assistance when they need support, as it’s not just an event for people who are homeless but for people who are less fortunate in these hard times.”

The Homeless Connect Event will be held at Rockhampton Showgrounds on 4 July 2024.

Food, clothing, shoes, linen, toiletry and female hygiene product donations can be dropped to the School of Arts Building at 230 Bolsover Street between 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday until 21 June 2024.