Community Forum on Homelessness with Chermside Kedron Community Church

16 April 2024

Community Forum on Homelessness with Chermside Kedron Community Church Image

By Andrew McKaysmith, Synod Writer and Content Creator

The Chermside Kedron Community Church (CKCC) invites congregations and community members to a Community Forum on Homelessness on Tuesday, April 23.

Rev. David Baker will moderate the event, which will be graced by guest speakers Karen Dare, CEO of Communify, and Karyn Walsh, CEO of Micah Projects. They will share insights and strategies for combating homelessness. Additionally, local community members are invited to share their personal experiences and initiatives.

Connect100 Chaplain Annette Dale said the Community Forum on Homelessness is part of CKCC’s initiatives to provide resources and services to the homeless and others in need.

“People are sleeping rough in our car park, and there has been an upswing in requests for assistance,” she said. “I was driving past the Prince Charles Hospital in Chermside, and there were two fellows sleeping in the bus shelter, and I thought, ‘How is this happening?”.

Recent Census data unveiled that on any given night, approximately 10,000 people across south-east Queensland were without stable accommodation. This statistic can be attributed significantly to rising rental costs, heightened competition for rental properties, inflationary pressures, and breakdowns in family relationships.

Chaplain Dale said church leadership is listening to the congregation, especially those who have been homeless or have sought support from emergency accommodation services.

“Because we listened, we opened the disability toilet facility, which has a shower,” she said. “We provide towels and toiletries, and visitors are welcome to take the towel with them after their shower or leave it for us to launder for their next use.”

They also installed a washing machine and tumble dryer, exploring ways to provide laundry services tailored to the needs of visitors. Discussions amongst the congregation went as far as putting up tarps as a shelter for anyone who needed a place to stay overnight.

Chaplain Dale said that was an example of the social justice mindedness of the congregation.

“We have a real desire to serve,” she said. “We want to link in with service providers and other congregations and churches that are helping address homelessness.”

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