Brisbane Water Police, along with the entire NSW Police Force, is stepping up with Mission Australia to give second-hand police boots to those that need them most.
The charity drive is part of Homelessness Week, an annual awareness campaign coordinated by Homelessness Australia, that began on Monday, August 7, and continues until Sunday, August 13.
It aims to raise awareness of people experiencing homelessness and the issues that these people face.
As part of the police initiative, officers from Local Area Commands across the state are donating their second-hand police boots, which will be collected by Mission Australia and distributed to those in need.
Local police stations have established drop-off sites, which will remain in place throughout Homelessness Week and the month of August, before the donations are collected for delivery.
NSW Police Central Metropolitan Region Spokesperson on Vulnerable Communities, Acting Superintendent, Stacey Maloney, said NSW Police is proud to collaborate with Mission Australia and support needy members in the community.
“They say you can never truly understand what someone is going through unless you take a walk in their shoes, so we wanted to put our best foot forward to raise awareness about the challenges associated with homelessness,” A/Supt Maloney said.
“We ran the drive last year and it had a fantastic response, with more than 300 pairs collected across the state, so we are very pleased to throw our support behind the campaign again.
“The boots are still good quality shoes and it’s great that they can be given a second lease of life.
“This is what Homelessness Week is about, supporting those in need, shedding the stigma, and understanding that being homeless is not often a choice,” A/Supt Maloney said.
Acting Supt Maloney said police work closely with other Government and Non-Government agencies to respond to issues associated with homelessness and assist with referrals to relevant support services.
“Our officers often have contact with vulnerable individuals, including those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness,” A/Supt Maloney said.
“When working with vulnerable people, one of our most important roles is putting them in touch with service providers and other support networks.
“We also know it’s far more effective to offer assistance for families and children before they become homeless, so early intervention is key to providing initial support and preventing intergenerational homelessness,” A/Supt Maloney said.
Mission Australia’s NSW State Director, Mr Ben Carblis, said Mission Australia is thankful for the support from Local Area Commands across NSW.
“This partnership between Mission Australia and the NSW Police Force is a great initiative that provides people experiencing homelessness with high-quality boots donated by their local police,” Mr Carblis said.
“We know that a pair of shoes won’t reduce homelessness, but it is one way we can work together to provide some comfort and dignity to a person, while Mission Australia and other services work to provide long-term supports and exits out of homelessness.
“Each donated pair of shoes will go a long way in providing some comfort to the people that we support who are living in tough conditions, particularly during these colder winter months,” Mr Carblis said.
Media release, Aug 7
NSW Police Media