The 2022 Homeless Connect donation drive has officially kicked off yesterday ahead of the event on Wednesday August 3rd.

Increasing numbers of people are finding it difficult to be able to find a home on the Gold Coast, with many having an experience of homelessness.

Members of the Gold Coast Homeless Network are responding to this need and have today launched the donation drive for the 13th Gold Coast Homeless Connect event.

Speaking at the launch event at Metricon Stadium earlier today, GC SUNS Chief Executive Mark Evans encouraged everyone on the Gold Coast to get behind an important cause for our community.

“We’re rapt that the Homeless Connect Event can be held at Metricon Stadium again for the 8th time,” Evans said.

“As a club we’re happy to help whenever there is a crisis or a need, and this year there is a bigger need than ever before with housing affordability at such harsh levels, the impact of the floods and cost of living, so many people are doing it tough.

“If they can come to Metricon Stadium for a day, be entertained, get great advice and medical care and all of the other services that the event provides, we’re delighted to be able to support in any way we can.

“For all of those people who have a connection to the SUNS or to the Gold Coast, if you have a way of contributing any donations, please do, it will be a massive help.”

It was a great opportunity for Metricon Stadium, the Gold Coast SUNS and their partners to all come together for a worthy cause.

“I’d like to say thank you to our partners, Metricon Homes, Surfside Bus lines and O’Briens Catering who have supported this event for so long.

“It’s a wonderful thing for us to make sure that all of the things we do here at the SUNS and Metricon Stadium have a connection to the community.”

Calling on the public to donate non-perishable food and food vouchers, clothing, blankets, and toiletries at dedicated collection points around the coast, Gold Coast Homelessness Network Chairperson Maria Leebeek said that the demand for support is extremely high in the region. 

The Gold Coast community is exceptionally generous, having helped people during the floods, however many people are continuing to struggle and needing that extra bit of help.

“The region has seen an increase in the price of living and especially around the cost of housing.  These pressures have placed great burdens on our community where people are struggling to pay rent and keep food on the table.  Unlike previous years we have seen greater numbers of people who are working but unable to retain or obtain housing. 

This has meant that more people are couch-surfing with families and friends and unfortunately an increase in the numbers of people who are sleeping in cars or rough sleeping” Ms Leebeek said.

For many people in our community this may be the first time that they have had to seek help from charities and welfare services.  Homeless Connect/Connect to Home provides a one stop shop for people to be informed of the services in our community in a friendly environment.  

“This year we are asking our community to donate items that could make a difference to the lives of children, young people, families, and older Australians that are doing it tough in the lead-up to August 3rd, when we will hold our 13th annual Homeless Connect event at Metricon Stadium.”

We would like to thank our major sponsors Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast Suns, ABC Gold Coast, Surfside Buslines, Gold Coast Community Fund, O’Briens Group and Deputy Mayor Donna Gates who is here today for the City of Gold Coast and their ongoing support of our cities most vulnerable.

Those looking to donate can do so from today at dedicated collection points including Gold Coast City Council, GCCC libraries, Metricon Stadium.