Homelessness is a complex issue

Recently we donated a few backpacks to 3rd Space Brisbane.

Man with mask standing infront of 3rdSpace sign holding a couple of One Light backpacks

It is a drop-in centre within the inner city and inner north Brisbane area. Where people experiencing or at risk of homelessness find support, friendship and dignity.

Homelessness is a complex issue with many causes at the levels of society, systems and individual circumstances. Family and domestic violence, mental health concerns, lack of employment are just a few of these.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines a person as being homeless if they are:

  1. Entirely without a home
  2. Living in:
  • An improvised dwelling that is physically inadequate
  • Short-term or emergency accommodation
  • Temporary arrangements without the security of tenure
  • Arrangements that do not allow for social relations.

The friendly operations manager took us for a tour through the centre.

Murray Smith is an accomplished security supervisor who draws on more than 20 years of military, law-enforcement, facilities-services and customer-service experience to make sure 3rd Space is welcoming and safe for visitors, volunteers and staff.

We asked him why he was so passionate about the work that he is doing. 

“At 3rd Space, we form relationships, build trust and provide hope in a place of safety. Every person who comes to the centre has their own set of needs and their own story to tell. The experiences that I had in the police and military filled me with compassion. Think of it this way, most of us are just a few paychecks away from being homeless.”

How do you handle substance abuse cases?

“The Homeless Health Outreach Team supports people and 3rd Space staff to improve mental health and substance misuse outcomes.

I learned to focus on the work I am doing here and not get involved with situations that are out of my control.”

The centre’s support is impressive, but how do you feel when you have to lock the centre, knowing that some people won’t have a place to sleep that night?

“Support is provided to individuals and families to settle into new housing, attend appointments and access other services. But there is a shortage of social housing. It is a big problem, and our housing system is broken.

  • Ordinary Australians are locked out of homeownership
  • Renters are missing out and have to move from house to house
  • There’s nowhere else for many people to go.”

When it was time for us to go, the gentle giant offered to help get our vehicle out of a tight parking spot.

Man in black shirt holding a long haired dash hound

Murray Smith

House of Change Campaign

One Light Charity endorses permanent independent housing with supports. This model has been demonstrated to increase the likelihood of ending rough sleeping and breaking the cycle of homelessness.

House of Change logoDo you want to be remembered as a life-changer? Please learn more about the House of Change campaign