Food van aids Gympie's homeless
WITH temperatures in the past few weeks reaching lows of below 10 degrees, Gympie's homeless need all the assistance they can get, says the Community Pastor for Victory Church, Kev Dailly.
Pastor Dailly is at the forefront of providing relief to those who are less fortunate with his food van support initiative.
In its first week of operation, the food van and its volunteers have seen the magnitude of homelessness existing in Gympie and the extent of help those people need.
The Victory Church care services van and its small team of volunteers plan to meet Fridays at 6.30pm and Tuesdays at 6.30am, to provide food to those living on the streets.
On Friday, 10 men turned up for a barbecue meal which included fruit juice, soup and chicken curry.
The rain and cold weather drew a disappointing response for Pastor Dailly on Tuesday morning, however he hopes word of mouth and the church's close ties with Centrelink, the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul will bring in people in need of assistance.
The food van is open to anyone who needs help, regardless of age or gender. It is a place where those living on the street can come and for a hot meal and interact in a close community environment with other people.
While only men attended during the first week, women were encouraged to come along as there would always be other women volunteering in the van, Pastor Dailly said.
The group of volunteers has been overwhelmed at the support they have been getting, with donations of blankets from a Bundaberg church, coats and scarfs, swags and even homemade Anzac biscuits.
Any donations made to the food van were appreciated by team of volunteers. All donations are passed on directly to those in need.
People became homeless for different reasons, Pastor Dailly said. They had been helping from different backgrounds and ranged in age from 20 years to 50.
Some had been recently released from prison and had lost family networks to rely on, while others had lost their jobs and had no other option but to sleep in their cars.
"We're out there to try to meet a need. There is a desperate need for somewhere for people to stay at night. We need to do everything we can to help change their circumstances," Pastor Dailly said.