Hitting the road with Missionbeat
Missionbeat’s iconic vehicles patrol city streets and help people in distress. Our trained drivers aim to meet people’s immediate needs, providing access to food, clothing, medical care, safe accommodation, and transport to services.
We respond to calls from vulnerable individuals, concerned members of the public, and emergency and community services. We work closely with government and other agencies to help break the cycle of homelessness.
Thanks to the support of generous Australians, we currently have Missionbeat teams in Sydney and Brisbane, and specialist Youthbeat services in Perth and Tasmania. Our goal is to offer Missionbeat services in every state and territory across the country.
Missionbeat program manager Shane and outreach case worker Darlene have 18 years’ combined experience at Mission Australia working with society’s most vulnerable people. We asked them a few questions about their work with people experiencing homelessness:
What are the biggest issues facing people experiencing homelessness?
Shane: At the moment it’s affordable housing. There are people out there who are ready to be housed and just require a home so they can start to address their other issues, such as mental health and addiction issues.
Darlene: I would also add they experience isolation and discrimination. Sometimes they don’t feel like they’re part of the general community. I believe this is a big problem they face.
How do these issues impact the work you’re doing?
S: Because more people are falling into homelessness and because we’re housing more people, we’ve got issues around post-crisis support. It’s not just a matter of offering somebody a property to live in; it’s about being able to support them to maintain a successful tenancy. Small things like ensuring they have access to bedding, utensils and linen is crucial. They also need individual support and help connecting in with their community to develop a sense of belonging.
What’s the hardest part about your job?
D: I’d say walking away and leaving someone in a tent overnight if I can’t locate accommodation for them. That would be the hardest.
What impact would additional funding make for Missionbeat and the people you help?
S: More funding would enable us to put extra Missionbeat vans on the road. Currently in Sydney we operate just one outreach van, which is on the road 16 hours a day, seven days a week. It would also allow us to provide more support to people once they’re housed, or to take someone who’s sleeping rough and provide them with short-term accommodation as a first step.
What would you say to someone considering making a donation to Mission Australia?
S: Mission Australia works directly with vulnerable children, young people and families in every state and territory across the country. Last year, 88% of our income was invested straight back into our frontline services, so you can be confident that the people who need help receive it.
D: I think that would be a wonderful and very generous thing. I would say thank you very much.
Independence is precious
Missionbeat has been supporting vulnerable Australians since 1979, and our goal is to help even more people by offering Missionbeat services right across the country.
To do this, we need your help. Please donate today or consider leaving a gift in your Will to put people like Shane and Darlene on the road in every state and territory in Australia.Donate today or Leave a gift
Know someone affected by domestic and family violence?
If you are experiencing abuse or violence it is not your fault. There are support services that can help you. If your life is in danger, call 000. For 24/7 domestic violence counselling call the National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).
Where to get helpAcknowledging that one of your relationships may be unhealthy or potentially harmful can be overwhelming to cope on your own. It can also be difficult to see the bigger context when trying to look at a relationship outside of our own lens. Whether it’s a relationship you need help navigating, a behaviour you want to change or advice to support a loved one involved in an unhealthy relationship, reach out to:
- If your life is in danger, contact emergency services on 000 immediately.
- MensLine Australia —1300 78 99 78.
- Relationships Australia — 1300 364 277.
Related news and stories
Read about what we’ve been working on, our stance on important social issues and how you make a difference to vulnerable Australians' lives.