A Queensland charity is launching a new initiative to tackle homelessness across the state by providing those who are most vulnerable with tools to break the homelessness cycle.
Australian Street Aid Project, or ‘ASAP’, will establish mobile food trucks to operate at markets, events and popular spots around the state, beginning in Mackay and the surrounding area.
The food truck will be staffed by a supervised team of four people currently experiencing homelessness, delivering delicious and quality food seven days a week – including a service twice a week providing meals to the homeless and hungry.
The initiative aims to provide people with the tools to change their lives by offering solutions to common barriers such as employment and accommodation through individual tailored support, education and training.
Participants complete a six-month program, with a total of eight homeless Queenslanders able to participate every year. Once they have successfully completed the program people will be offered real-world employment opportunities and accommodation solutions.
All profits made from the first food truck will be used to purchase a second truck and launch another employment program in Townsville, with further expansion to follow.
To help launch this potentially life-changing initiative The Lottery Office has donated $5,000 to ASAP to purchase the first food truck.
Jaclyn Wood, CEO of The Lottery Office, said ASAP’s venture will help reduce homelessness and unemployment across Queensland while empowering people to change their own lives.
“We know that in the five years from 2011 to 2016 homelessness in Queensland increased 13.8% which demonstrates the need for increased services and programs to help break the homelessness cycle,” Ms Wood said.
“ASAP is a great organisation that is working hard to give people the opportunities and tools to turn their lives around. Not only do they offer employment, accommodation and training prospects, but they also provide tailored and individualised support to help the most vulnerable gain confidence and hope.
“The Lottery Office is proud to be supporting such an innovative program to give homeless Queenslanders the skills to change their lives forever.”