IPSWICH council will donate almost $20,000 to the Order of Malta to buy 600 custom-made coats for homeless in Brisbane and Ipswich.
Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale announced at the third annual Coats for the Homeless breakfast on April 3, that he and fellow Ipswich councillor David Morrison had agreed to double their initial purchase of 300 coats for the homeless.
Homelessness Australia statistics show 105, 237 people is homeless, and almost 20,000 are from Queensland.
Mr Pisasale said the alarming rate of homelessness in South-East Queensland needed to be addressed.
He said his council was committed to “share the load” in helping homeless Australians.
“We don’t want to be the population and generation that increases the percentages of homelessness,” Mr Pisasale said.
“We want to be the ones that made a difference, that tried to say we have got a problem in south east Queensland, we have got a problem in Queensland, we have a problem in Australia and we’re going to do something about it.
“In this country we’re good at giving people hands out, but we’re not good at giving people a hand up.
“The coats is a hand up.”
Order of Malta vice-president Justice Martin Daubney said the generous donation from Mayor Pisasale left him speechless.
“The reality is many of the coats that you’ll be purchasing will go to the homeless in your city,” Justice Daubney said.
““What an extraordinary act of generosity from Mayor Pisasale and the Ipswich City Council.”
Order of Malta’s president Dr Ian Marshall thanked Cr Pisasale during the breakfast for supporting the Order.
Every hundred dollars given to the Coats for the Homeless project ensures three homeless people receive a custom long, black hooded coat each.
The coats were designed in consultation with homeless in Australia, and are also spray proof, one-size-fits-all, and feature large internal pockets to secure any valuables.
Mr Pisasale encouraged the 150 guests at the breakfast to be generous in giving to the Order of Malta and putting an end to homelessness.
“I want you to think about giving, I want you to think about the reason we’re here, the Order of Malta,” Mr Pisasale said.
“Each and every one of them share the care and compassion you do,” he said.
“You’re here because you want to make a difference, because you want to care, and someone needs your help.