QT deputy editor Andrew Korner with Jamila Shan and Barry Rienecker from Rosies
QT deputy editor Andrew Korner with Jamila Shan and Barry Rienecker from Rosies Cordell Richardson

Ipswich charity for homeless has 2500 reasons to smile

THANKS to the generosity of The Queensland Times and local business Life Without Barriers, the Ipswich charity Rosies now has 2500 reasons to smile.

As part of her membership with The QT Club, a complete print and digital marketing solution, Jamila Shah from Life Without Barriers went into the draw to win $2500 cash which could be donated to the charity of her choice.

Rosies is a local charity that works with homeless people several times a week in Ipswich to give them food, essentials and a helping hand when hard times arrive.

"This money will make a big difference," said Rosies co-ordinator Barry Rienecker. "It costs a lot to get the vans out every week. There's petrol and insurance plus the cost of coffee, tea, milo, toiletries and so on. A lot of it is donated but we always need more."

Rosies has been running for the last seven years providing somewhere for the disadvantaged to have something to eat in a relaxed atmosphere, where there is always someone to talk to, and the charity relies on community support.

"Rosie's provides support for those who are homeless, at risk of being homeless and others who find themselves in a situation where they need to feel valued and welcome. We give them someone to talk to, treat them as friends," Barry said.

"We are out four times a week, and it's a voluntary organisation. I'd say about 95 per cent of our funding comes from donations from people in the Ipswich community who want to help make a difference.

"The numbers we get for our service is increasing, often people with young children. We don't go into why they come to see us, we don't judge anyone, but the feeling we get is that they enjoy it.

"We always need tea, coffee, Milo, deodorants, toothbrushes, toothpaste. You can drop them off to any of our outreaches on Wednesday to Friday, and then they can see the people who it is going to."

Jamila Shah is the Operations Manager for Ipswich Region at Life Without Barriers, and chose Rosies for several reasons.

"This is our community, and we all want to help any way we can," Ms Shah said.

"I think many people underestimate the number of disadvantaged people in Ipswich, and it mostly comes down to living costs.

"The price of utilities just goes up and up. Petrol often shoots up which means people can't drive their cars...all those things take their toll and eventually kids don't get to school.

"We've seen a massive upsurge in situations like this over the last four years. We are just so happy that thanks to the QT together we could make this happen."

For more information on donating goods, time or using the service, visit www.rosies.org.au

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