The state’s largest drop-in and support centre for the homeless, 3rd Space Brisbane (formerly 139 Club), is now open seven days a week– just in time for Christmas.
Thanks to a $340,000 donation from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland,
3rd Space will be able to provide its much-needed services – including one-on-one support, day beds, showers, laundry facilities and café – on Saturdays and Sundays.
3rd Space Chief Executive Officer, Sara Harrup said the extended hours meant a lot to those doing it tough in Brisbane.
“Homelessness doesn’t go away on the weekends. Being open seven days means we can provide continuity of support to our existing visitors and reach those we may not reach on other days,” she said.
“That we’ve been able to extend our hours for the Christmas period is particularly heartening. It’s a tough time of year for people who are homeless or sleeping rough, so we look forward to welcoming them to the 3rd Space family on every day of the week – including our Christmas Eve lunch.”
First through the door was Bob Stafford, who has been homeless for most of his life.
“This is fantastic. I now have somewhere safe to go on the weekends to catch up on some sleep. Dreading Friday afternoons will be a thing of the past,” he said.
Located on Brunswick Street in Fortitude Valley, 3rd Space has been supporting Brisbane’s homeless since 1975 and currently provides a safe place to rest and rejuvenate for more than 100 people a day.
Ms Harrup said she expected attendance to increase with the extended opening hours.
“Our numbers have been steadily growing for some time and weekend opening hours will add to this. Consequently, we are now doubling our efforts to raise funds so that 3rd Space can continue to offer its services for many years to come,” she said.
“We’ve worked hard to get to this point – seven-day opening, our new 3rd Space Café – so, we’re very keen to keep the momentum going long after the seven-day 12-month pilot has concluded.”
Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said at a celebratory morning tea last Saturday to mark the commencement of the 7-day service that Hand Heart Pocket was proud to be able to make life a little better for Brisbane’s homeless.
“Support of the homeless and marginalised members of our community aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values, which are about alleviating suffering and misfortune to empower people to lead better lives,” he said.
“We’re very hopeful that this donation, which was made on behalf of our members, will assist 3rd Space to gather the data they need, to be able to secure longer-term funding from the government or private donors,” he said.
Photo: (from left) Hand Heart Pocket Board Chairman, Tom Wiltshire; 3rd Space Brisbane Chairman, Ian Sampson and Chief Executive Officer, Sara Harrup; Hand Heart Pocket Director and Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland, Alan Townson; 3rd Space Brisbane Director, Vincent McFarlane; and Hand Heart Pocket Director, Greg Short and Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark.