Published Tuesday 28 July 2020
The Brisbane Relief Hub continues to support people throughout the COVID-19 crisis that has affected not only Australia, but the whole world.
Every day there is good news – we’ve flattened the curve, restrictions have lifted, and there is hope that, with every step, we’re slowly getting ‘back to normal’. But we know that the effects of this pandemic will continue to be felt well after the last café has opened back up and those who still have their jobs are able to go back to the office. Not everyone will be so lucky, and many will continue to face serious hardship in the coming months, even years.
In the heaviest time of restrictions, the Brisbane Relief Hub was the only service in the inner suburbs of Brisbane that remained open Monday to Friday for more than one hour a day and offered face-to-face contact. Even so, we had to drastically change how we saw and helped people. Community meals became take away, and our face-to-fact contact was strictly controlled and limited to ensure the health and safety of all clients, staff and volunteers.
Over the last few months the relief hub has seen an influx of new clients, mostly having experienced job loss, including stranded international students and migrant workers. We’ve been hearing many stories of people who have gone from service to service, hoping to find someone who can help, and finally finding the relief hub being one of the only services still open and seeing people.
Brian* has been a client of the relief hub in the past, having received food hampers, but recently lost his job due to COVID-19 and turned to the service again for help. He was able to apply for job seeker but was struggling while waiting for the support to come through.
“You guys are so great,” he told our staff at the relief hub. “I’m here because I need food relief, and you have always been good to me in the past. There is obviously support from the government coming through, but it takes a while to process – a lot of people are living on promises. When you’re doing it tough, and you know you can come here for help… we’re just so privileged to have you in our lives.”
Even though it’s been a struggle, Brian is staying positive. “It’s like a reset button. It’s telling everyone to be mindful of how you live – live clean, eat well, all the kinds of things we should be doing! Even though it’s a pandemic, there’s still good; this is Australia. People are more kind to each other, they’ve found more humility, it’s just a shame that it had to happen over something like this. I think we’ll learn from this and move on, and I’m proud to be alive at this time to witness what is going on and how people are helping each other. It’s big!”
To learn more about our Emergency Relief Services, visit our webpage.