Crisis Centre expanding for the Commonwealth Games

BY MONIQUE ST CLAIR

St John’s Crisis Centre, Surfers Paradise, is about to undergo a massive re-development over January 2018, just in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Games are expected to see rental prices sky rocket on the Gold Coast, especially around key areas like Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and Southport.

This will no doubt result in an increased homeless population, which St John’s Crisis Centre is preparing for.

The $350,000 job will see the church roofs replaced, all asbestos removed, and increased accessibility including disability ramps, lift and toilet.

All of the current facilities will be updated and expanded to safely accommodate more people.

There will also be another 2 security cameras installed and 3 new emergency escape exit doors for staff.

Loretta Mc Taggart and Reverend Jon Brook in front of the St John’s Crisis Centre. Photo: Monique St Clair

Rev Jon Brook, Coordinator of the Mission and Ministry, emphasizes the importance of safety.

“Safety is a priority, safety for the clients, safety for volunteers, safety for the staff is a priority”, said Rev Brook.

There are over 100 volunteers and staff to cater to the many clients.

“We see around 500 people per week, taking into account all the variety of services we offer”, he explains.

Founded in October 1981, St John’s Crisis Centre has been part of the Gold Coast community for decades.

Over this time, facilities are worn, and with more people coming through the centre each day, expansion is necessary.

Over the past year (since September 2016) the Church has been open overnight for 163 nights, accommodating 1683 clients.

St John’s has recently brought on the help of Loretta Mc Taggart, and with her help has hosted its first fundraising luncheon on the 11th August at Edgewater Dining and Bar.

“The fundraiser was a huge success, we raised over $24,000, and we’ve established some long term donors which we are very excited about”, say Ms Mc Taggart.

To donate to St John’s Crisis Centre, please click here.

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