HOMELESSNESS: It could be you - Gympie Times special report
"DON'T feed them, they'll only come back,” is the official attitude to Gympie's homeless people, according to Victory Care volunteers Jada and Lindsey Burns.
It is an attitude that casts people out when they have done nothing wrong.
And it sometimes kills them, the Burnsh say.
The Gympie couple regularly get out to Six Mile rest area and feed the multitude, as they learned from Jesus.
Hot stews when there is nothing else to warm you, help when you need it most. Just a bit of kindness in what can sometimes be a mean old world.
No-one is far from being homeless themselves, according to Jada and Lindsey, who regularly attend Gympie's Six Mile highway rest area, on the city's southern outskirts.
Their guests include victims of crime, parents and children fleeing abuse and domestic violence, or simply those who have made two or three bad decisions and lost everything.
No-one is far from being homeless themselves, according to Jada and Lindsey Burns, who regularly attend the Six Mile rest area on Gympie's southern outskirts.
There they wage their own quitly positive war with an official policy that tells people they are not allowed to be homeless and have to move on.
Jada and Lindsey feed the multitude - as they learned from Jesus - on behalf of Victory Care.
And they are still mourning the quietly troubled camper, Eddie, who died recently in circumstances that suggest he just could not go on.
"FGYMPIE needs a place where people can stay in emergencies and it is about time the community realised that the Six Mile rest area is exactly that.
Jada and Lindsey Burns regularly attend the rest area to prepare and serve meals, as part of their work for VictoryCare.
Main Roads Department officials regularly move rest area residents on, as they are required to do under regulations limiting the length of stay at highway rest areas.
So, out at Six Mile, people with nowhere else to go, have to find somewhere to park at least for 24 hours until they can move back in.
Most of may feel secure and relatively comfortable, but anyone can fall down and need a hand to get up again, according to Jada and Lindsey.