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Donation empowers Mackay’s homeless

Australian Street Aid Project (ASAP) is a registered charity, providing motivated people with the tools they need to rebuild their lives and transition out of homelessness.

ASAP recently established the Chances Café in Mackay, which is employing homeless people and empowering them with accommodation, support services, and on-the-job-training.

The aim of this intensive, six-month program is for each participant to graduate with regular employment, accommodation and a new outlook on life.

The Lottery Office is donating $10,000 to Chances Café to help fulfil food licensing requirements.

The Lottery Office CEO Jaclyn Wood said the business has been supporting Chances Café before it even opened.

“Our last donation of $5,000 helped the café become self-sustainable much earlier than expected, and we intend to keep supporting this fantastic cause,” Ms Wood said.

“Our latest donation will assist in minimising food costs and providing even more job opportunities to those who need them.”

Currently there is no regular homelessness meal services available in Mackay. The café has allowed ASAP to implement a ‘pay it forward’ scheme where people experiencing homelessness are able to come in and have a free meal and drink.

Australian Street Aid Project founder Kayleigh Brewster said COVID-19 has restricted fundraising opportunities.

‘We are immensely grateful for The Lottery Office’s contribution because we are only able to serve pre-prepared food items, which equals to less than $1 profit per item due to the cost of purchasing,” Ms Brewster said.

“The funds from The Lottery Office will help us prepare the kitchen to pass food licensing requirements. While this is a costly exercise, the license allows us to take on more employees and provide better on-the-job training.”

The Lottery Office urges anyone interested in donating to visit the ASAP website.