On an average night, over 300 people are provided with assistance which can vary from something as simple as a glass of water to re-hydrate a person, to comforting people while they wait for an ambulance. We provide bandaids for blistered feet, or thongs so that people can walk home safely. We listen to those who have come out to party but are still grieving deaths and relationships. We can contact a friend to collect someone when a phone is lost. We find people passed out and vulnerable in dark corners and bring them to safety.
“I thought I had a dream that angels had picked me up…if I had a hat, I’d take it off to you…thank you.”
One night, a young man was found by street chaplains sleeping behind a nightclub. In that dark spot he was vulnerable to attack or robbery. The chaplains helped him back to the Rest and Recovery Tent, cared for him, and saw that he got home safely. The next night he came back and said, “I thought I had a dream that angels had picked me up…if I had a hat, I’d take it off to you…thank you.”
A young Townsville man was teetering on the riverbank one Saturday night, just before Christmas. Pieces of his broken phone could be seen on the rocks below. A chaplain listened quietly to his sad story of a broken relationship. Meanwhile, another chaplain climbed down the river bank to retrieve the pieces of his phone. The young man was then able to reassemble his phone and contact his mates in the nightclub. The same chaplains later met the young man with his two friends: he was effusive in his appreciation of the chaplains.
“I wish we had something like this at home”.
A forty-year old female was brought to the Rest and Recovery area by police; she was emotionally upset and had lost her mobile phone in one of the nightclubs. A street chaplain provided water and comfort as she talked about her terminally ill father. As she grew calmer, the chaplains provided practical help by visiting the clubs to try and find her phone. Because of the previous enquiries at the nightclubs, security were able to return the phone to the woman the next day. Like most visitors to Flinders Street East, from other cities in Australia or overseas, she greatly appreciated our unique service and said: “I wish we had something like this at home.”
Working with police. A street chaplain talks about her experience when police requested first aid assistance for a young man caught up in a fight in a nightclub. “The police called me over to provide first aid…I wiped the blood from the face of a young man who was clearly shaken up by what had happened, and attended to his head wound. I was able to give a few calming words of comfort to him. It is being able to care for people like this that makes the role so rewarding and worthwhile.”
Rest and Recovery Statistics 2016