A new and improved café offering healthy, low-cost dining to Brisbane’s homeless has opened its doors in Fortitude Valley. Employment Minister and Member for Brisbane Central Grace Grace today officially launched the 3rd Space Café, run by the 139 Club, a provider of homeless services in Brisbane since 1975.

The revamped café has been funded through a $259,000 grant from the Palaszczuk Government’s Dignity First Fund.

“The innovative cafe style service is based on Jon Bon Jovi’s ‘Soul Food Kitchen’ in the USA and similar to Sydney’s thriving Wayside Chapel’s café, so it’s about time we had one in Brisbane,” Ms Grace said.

“Opening from breakfast through to afternoon tea each week day, 3rd Space Café patrons will have a choice of meals, including a free option, from a constantly updated menu.

“The café will also incorporate an eco-friendly composting system and corporate participation days to get local businesses involved.

“A nutritionist has worked with 139 Club’s experienced chef to develop an interesting and healthy menu, while patrons can volunteer to help with kitchen duties and front of house support.

“This is a great new addition to local support services for the homeless and I want to pay tribute to the 139 Club for developing this innovative new facility.”

Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said while providing housing assistance was a key part of the puzzle, addressing the many issues around homelessness required a range of supports that take into account the needs of different individuals and communities.

“Homelessness is a complex issue, and any sophisticated response needs to include supports which address people’s immediate needs and help maintain their dignity,” Mr de Brenni said.

“The opportunity to share a meal in a safe and friendly environment is only partly about providing food – it’s a chance to welcome people into the community, to connect socially, and to access support and information.”

139 Club CEO Sara Harrup said the project was a first for Queensland.

“We hope it will provide a model for other similar cafés we or others may open in other locations throughout the state,” she said. “139 Club is all about providing a safe place to be, having respect for everyone who comes here, whether it’s our funders, supporters, staff, volunteers or, most importantly, our clients.”

Media contact: Martin Philip 0427 919 548