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Rosies searching for Brisbane northside site to expand outreach to homeless

Rosies general manager Andrew O'Brien

Northside growth: Deacon Andrew O’Brien is on the hunt to find a home for Rosies as it looks to expand in Brisbane’s northern suburbs. The Catholic charity already operates in seven regions across greater Brisbane. Photo: Emilie Ng.

HOMELESS men, women and children living rough on Brisbane’s north could soon be making friends with a new team of volunteers for Catholic charity, Rosies.

The charity is hoping to open its first branch on the north side by the end of the year.

The decision is in response to data from the 2016 Census showing an increase in homelessness in the region.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 525 people living on Brisbane’s north were homeless on census night in 2016.

Rosies general manager Deacon Andrew O’Brien said it would be the first time the charity had a regular presence between Brisbane city and Caboolture.

“Rosies had for many years done a monthly barbecue adjacent to the Aspley caravan park,” Deacon O’Brien said.

“That’s our main experience in that area.

“Various suburbs are noted for having people who are homeless.

“Even though we’re dealing with a broader group of people, they’re an indicator of where we might go.”

In order to set up regular outreaches, the charity will nightly need access to a room or shed roughly 40 to 50 square metres with a sink, water and electricity.

Deacon O’Brien said the ideal location would be around Sandgate, Bracken Ridge, Strathpine or any of the inner-city northern suburbs.

He said he had already raised the idea at nine parishes, but has not been able to find a suitable home yet.

Rosies already has branches in Beenleigh, Brisbane city, Caboolture, the Gold Coast, Ipswich, Logan Central and Wynnum Manly as well as Mareeba, the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Cairns.

John Laing Charitable Trust has already donated $60,000 to assist in the charity’s north side expansion after hearing about the work from volunteer Andrew Gray.

Deacon O’Brien said the charity was receiving a high request for volunteers adding to the decision to expand into the north side.

“We’ve got the capacity as an organisation to expand and that seems like a fairly logical expansion,” Deacon O’Brien said.

Deacon O’Brien said anyone who knew of a suitable home for Rosies could contact him on 0437 005 200 or email

Andrew O'Brien

Friend to homeless: Deacon Andrew O’Brien is head of Rosies. Photo: Emilie Ng.

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