In a special event to help people struggling with homelessness feel like part of the community, volunteers will wait on their homeless guests and will serve them food donated from Canberra restaurants at the Red Cross’s annual Community Day.
The Australian Red Cross Roadhouse Program at the Griffin Centre offers a regular meal, support services, a sleeping bag or toiletries to the city’s homeless but this Sunday (28 July) from 3-6 pm, the service will host 150 guests for a sit-down meal.
The event will also offer the guests an opportunity to have their hair cut, ‘shop’ for winter clothes, do a load of washing with the mobile laundry and freshen up with a shower.
The guests at the event will also be served by volunteer waiters for a table service dinner rather than the usual line-up for food at the kitchen window, with food donated from local restaurants.
Lazy Su, Baby Su, Zaab, Gus’ Place, Three Mills Bakery and Sonoma have all donated food and drinks to the event, while hairdressers and barbers from the Barbershop Canberra, Phatheads Barbershop and Anton’s Hair Studio will trim and spruce up hair for free.
Scullin Traders and Barton Grocer have also collected donations of non-perishable food for the event, which will be handed out to guests at the end of the day while Mighty Good Undies have donated 150 pairs of underwear for the guests.
GHD Canberra has stocked up and will run the clothing and accessories ‘shop’ on the day, where customers can browse through winter coats, gloves, socks and other articles of clothing.
Roadhouse spokesperson Eveline Kuang said community groups, businesses and volunteers contribute their time to bring the homeless and those at risk of being homeless back into the fold and re-connect with society.
“We have set up the room to feel a like a shop, so people can look for what they like, try it on and then they are free to take it,” Ms Kuang shared. “We will have coats hanging up on racks so it gives a nicer feel.
“We want to give them a special event than the usual soup kitchen experience, so instead of having guests line up, we will have volunteer waiters to take their order and serve them.
“The event itself is designed to give them something special and something for them to look forward to. Our guests really value it and look forward to it and it brings in more people than we would usually see and it gives them a sense of connection.
“It is a great place for people to connect with other people who might be in similar circumstances, to socialise and to also just feel a bit special.”
If you would like to help out with pre-prepared foods which can be kept hot and served on the day, contact Eveline Kuang on 0423 908 190 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org