DEACON Andrew O’Brien is preparing to climb the tallest building in Australia so his Brisbane-based outreach can continue to offer mateship to homeless people in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.
The Brisbane deacon and manager for Catholic outreach Rosies, which serves a cuppa to hundreds of homeless people in Queensland every week, will attempt to climb 1331 steps in less than 20 minutes for the Q1 SkyPoint Sea to Sky Stair challenge.
He is possibly the first deacon to take up the challenge.
“My training was going well with the aim of breaking twenty minutes for the climb,” Deacon O’Brien said.
“A few tight muscles have slowed progress but being around a bunch of fit people on March 11 will get me over the line.”
Rosies is the official charity partner of the stair challenge, meaning all participants will be raising money for the outreach.
So far the charity has raised $6000, but Deacon O’Brien is hoping to receive $25,000 by the end of the fundraiser.
All proceeds will ensure Rosies can continue to send its 1150 volunteers to homeless people across Queensland, and a portion of the funds will go towards building a long-term base and drop-in centre on the Gold Coast.
Last year Rosies’ Gold Coast branch was forced to find a new location for its Surfers Paradise outreach.
It was welcomed by the community at St Vincent’s Church and it operates a nightly outreach three times a week.
SkyPoint, where Deacon O’Brien will climb next Sunday, is only one block from St Vincent’s Church.
“Securing a long-term base and drop-in centre is an issue we are currently working on,” he said. “If we raise sufficient funds from the stair climb we will be able to put much of that to our longer-term requirements.”
The Gold Coast branch is also desperate for more supplies after running out due to limited storage last week.
Rosies put an urgent message on their Facebook page for non-perishable items and have already received responses from their supporters.
Deacon O’Brien said Rosies was slowly growing as more outreach nights to share a cuppa with the homeless opened up.
Offering friendship to the growing number of homeless across Queensland is the main focus for Rosies.
According to the charity, 5.6 million Australian experience loneliness, and 66 per cent of them seek friendship as a remedy.