First of all I was successful with a family, house and a great job when I had an accident on a stairwell and ended up in hospital for 9 months with multiple injuries and leaving with a back brace.
Losing everything I was homeless for 1 ½ years of which the last 6 months of that I started making a huge difference in people’s lives. You see as a Big Issue vendor (which I became vendor of the year) I had a lot of customers or people that would say “Hi” all the time. One day I started asking everyone I knew if they would like to donate clothes they didn’t want anymore to me to give to a Homeless Centre to give to homeless for free. I got two very full station wagons full of clothes to donate.
Two months later I did the same thing except this time I asked for food for a BBQ as well, you see I started telling all the homeless and people I knew to come to a park and collect free BBQ food, clothes, blankets, toiletries and much more. 400 turned up which excited me and I continue to do these BBQ’s which became bigger, between 400-1,000 people getting help every two months going to Musgrave Park, Caboolture, Ipswich and Wynnum. But the best thing was the very first two BBQ’s I done while homeless myself.
I would like to add that these BBQ’s are not to just give free food and things, we have 100’s of volunteers there trying to talk to these people in a means of helping them on their feet. I know 100’s of homeless and people in need have turned up and left to go straight into accommodations and employment. There’s no better feeling.
I have and always will be proud with what I do with my BBQ’s but I have taken it one step further with a new project called “Having a Go Coffee” which I use my contacts to help homeless or people in need on their feet and then give them training and employment working. This will give them a head start in hospitality and makes them part of society and participating in a world at which they only used to look from the outside. I can already see the difference in the first people I employed. The fact that someone believes in them has given them confidence and I can see their hope for the future. I’m putting together 50 locations throughout Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The way I look at it, If I help and employ 8-10 people per location then it’ll help 400-500 homeless and people in need to have that first or second chance at life.
I have 2 locations and already working on my 3rd and 4th as I write this now. My plan is to get the 50 locations by July next year. I know it’s a big task but I know I say a famous saying to people I’m trying to help, “There’s only two things we can’t do and that’s walk on water, but I heard someone did and we can’t find the second thing”
If you would like to donate towards this great project please do as I need all the help I can get.
Grant the Polite Guy