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Aspley's New Opportunity

15 Oct 2014 | Adam

DSC_4538For 2 years Cup From Above has been working every day with people struggling from the Aspley Acres Caravan Park.  You might have seen it on the media tonight.  You might think it’s bad but it’s worse…

A young woman was recently sexually assaulted in the caravan park and our Cafe Chaplains were doing what they could to support her and her family.  Her life was threatened for pressing charges against the perpetrator and fled Brisbane.  The perpetrator then threatened to kill me because we were supporting her.  In the same week we were helping out a lady struggling with drug addiction who we found out was selling her daughter to pay for her habit.  We’ve been robbed over a dozen times in 2 years.  I’ve found bullets outside the cafe.  Things couldn’t be much worse.  There’s a total breakdown of respect and order.

Cup From Above recently hosted a meeting with Council, Police & Government where it was decided that this was perhaps the worst crisis in Brisbane.  Several potential solutions were discussed.  Since then the team at Cup From Above have increased our efforts in providing “grassroots” programs to meet these dire needs.

I applaud the police for their work today and really over the last 3 years.  I’ve been around Aspley on and off since 1983.  Aspley is safer than it has been thanks to them.  There were some people whinging that there was an over display of force.  I don’t think so.  The police responded strategically and thoughtfully to a very complicated situation.  Well done I say.

Some of these people in the caravan park are violent serial offenders.  Unfortunately prison seems to be the only solution for these people.

There’s no victory for the community in sending “them all” to prison as some people are suggesting.  And most say the solution is to “shut the caravan park down”.  I disagree.  This simply means the problem will be relocated-not solved.

I hold the belief that people fundamentally don’t want to commit crimes.  Given the right support and opportunity these people can rise above their circumstances and live a great life in harmony with the rest of society.  This is why I built Cup From Above:  to give people who are disadvantaged the opportunity they need to become successful.

We had one bloke who started coming into the cafe about 6 months ago.  He was a drug addict who ate from the bins in Aspley.  When he couldn’t find food he would steal from shops or our backyards to pay for food.  He started coming to Cup From Above and using the tucker tokens.  I encouraged him every day.  Last week he said to me that he’s kicked the drugs and he now does volunteer work 3 days per week.  He said to me “when I get a proper job I’m going to buy tucker tokens so I can help change someone else’s life around”.  You see every meal he ate he was being restored.  He was affirmed that he was loved and valued by our community.  Now his tank is nearly full again.  He’s built up enough that he is able to give back.

This is a real solution.  This is a game changer.  It’s not quick.  It takes 6 months.  Sometimes longer.  But it’s working.

We’ve got several grassroots programs that are helping transform lives and build a great community here in Aspley.  Today the police arrested several of the worst offenders.  This is great but it’s not the end.  That wasn’t the solution.  But it has created the opportunity for real change.  It’s now time to work together as a community to solve this crisis.  We need to feed the homeless and find them a safe home.  We need to create jobs.  We need to listen to and love these people who are hurting.  There are 600 people in the caravan park.  We’re going to need an army.

If you’re interested in volunteering at Cup From Above you can fill out the form here.

I was interviewed today from a few different news teams.  Here they are…

Brisbane Times Article: Here

Courier Mail Article:  Here

Thanks everyone,

Adam


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4 responses to “Aspley’s New Opportunity”

  1. debbie sanders says:

    you and your team are doing a great job adam God bless you guys abundantly

  2. marilyn whitfield says:

    Keep up your great work may the community continue to support your work. I’ve visited there a few times and felt ashamed that such hardship is on our doorstep. Praise God for your dedication to help the helpless change their lives.

  3. Great interview … you really came across well. Keep up the great work.

  4. Ben says:

    I lived at Aspley Acres for a year or so in the mid-90’s. The worst thing I saw was when I walked into the amenities one night and all the hot taps had been turned on! People used to comment about the troublemakers in the caravan park next door, though! Now it’s Aspley Acres that’s getting the comments. Maybe it will always be a difficult place, but with wisdom and perseverance, maybe it can be “difficult but worth it”. I’m glad you guys are trying to find that tricky balance, and I sure hope you’re successful!

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