Each winter in Brisbane since 2016, a group simply called, ‘Mates doing good on the streets’, have been helping the homeless people of Brisbane city stay warm.
Founder of the modest humanitarian cause and Ni Vanuatu/Australian resident Alfred Quai has been giving back to the community over the last two years after seeing the number of people without a home and living on the streets of Brisbane.
“I spent my childhood in Vila before I move here (Australia),” he said. “Growing up and going without food sometimes is hard so I know how these homeless people must feel. We move here to this beautiful country and make a good life out of it, so giving back a little is good.”
The gratitude the Ambaen islander has for his new home is being reflected through his group’s humanitarian work every June – August on the streets of Queensland city.
“I wouldn’t have what I have right now if it wasn’t for this awesome country I call home and that’s same with the brothers that we do this together,” he said.
“We appreciate what we have, you help someone, not everyone but at least a few people can have a hot meal, these people appreciated what we give them, a little food goes a long way.”
According to Mr. Quai, the ‘Mates doing good on the streets’ initiative is funded by the members of the group who usually donate old blankets, jackets and sleeping bags; coupled with roughly 30-40 containers of home cooked meals and warm drinks.
Unfortunately, some of the recipients being assisted by the group have had their donated goods stolen by other vagrants, which only motivates the Mr. Quai and his team to expand their reach for assistance.
“But it’s sad because the next week we’ll go back and see the same guys with no blankets that we gave last-week and they say oh someone stole it or fought them for it.”
The owner of Blackstone Wear in North Brisbane mentioned that they haven’t come across any similar groups assisting the homeless, aside from the conventional charity organizations.
“I think in Brisbane, apart from other big organizations, we are the only mates here doing this on out free time, we haven’t run into anyone on the streets that does it,” he explained.
New Zealand born, Sidney Rogers, who recently joined the crusade to help Brisbane vagrants get through winter said that they haven’t approached any donor parties for assistance yet, but in the meantime, the independent movement is still making a difference, albeit a small change, it’s very much appreciated.
This winter, which has just begun, the New Zealander mentioned that the ‘Mates doing good on the streets’ program will be going for its third-year in-a-row and welcomes any donations from anyone who is willing to be part of the movement.
“The plan for this winter is the same as last year’s; cooking hot meal and deliver to them on streets and giving them warm clothes. So, if people donate winter gears that they don’t need, (that) would help us out on the streets,” he said.
The West Ambaen founder of ‘Mates doing good on the streets’ said the 2019 blanket and hot-meal initiative has been scheduled for the second week of June.