Brook Stewart: Kingsway Community Care
Helping others gives Brook a deep sense of meaning
Helping people rebuild their lives after being left homeless gives Brook Stewart a deep sense of meaning in his life.
The Community Outreach Manager at Kingsway Community Care says he got involved in the organisation because he has a passion for people on the fringe, those who have been marginalised by society.
The best part of his work is giving people a sense of family and hope when they have none.
“I think that things like clothes, food and shelter are basic needs that everyone deserves to have.”
Kingsway’s main mission is to help homeless people rebuild their lives.
It provides crisis accommodation for homeless people and families escaping domestic violence. It also provides medium-term accommodation for young people in need.
So far it has a 97% success rate in having 300 clients transferred into longer-term accommodation.
But its scope keeps expanding and Brook has pioneered the opening of an op-shop, the profits of which are used to fund a monthly dinner for 80 guests. This helps isolated people build connections in the community.
Many stories touch Brook’s heart. But one that stands out is a man who attended a Christmas dinner and told him it was the first time he had sat down for a meal with other people.
He’s also helped a woman who lost everything in her 70s and found herself homeless.
“I’ve seen 19-year-old girls come in who are pregnant as well.”
Brook also oversees Southern Cross Kids Camp, which brings together 20-30 local children who have been identified as at risk.
Brook says it feels good to be voted a Westfield Local Hero. “I’m very proud of what we do, so it’s good to get the recognition.”
Kingsway will use the $10,000 grant to fund an employee to assist staff and guests with immediate needs, including pastoral care, mentoring and resourcing items.