Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has suggested to the Christian community that sharing their “hope” from God with the community can help address the problem of homelessness.
In a speech about homelessness to an audience of Christians at the Lord Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast earlier this month, Mayor Schrinner argued that, while governments had a role and more money was needed in tackling homelessness, “in the end it is about that fundamental principle of giving people hope”.
He pointed upwards when he declared that he knew from where those present, including himself and his wife, got their hope, and argued that it was their “responsibility to share that hope with the community”.
Mayor Schrinner has drawn controversy in the past for ignoring community calls – and an 800-strong petition in 2020 – for the Brisbane City Council to remove the recital of Christian prayers from the opening of its meetings.
He publicly rejected the petition even before it had closed to the public and despite previously having promised not to impose his religious beliefs on others because, as he argued, Australia, “is not a theocracy”.
Mayor Schrinner is a former alumnus of Citipointe Christian College who was elected to council in 2011 and elevated to the top job in 2019.
At the annual prayer breakfast, he said the homelessness problem in Brisbane was the worst he had seen.
“…I know the mission of everyone in this room is to make sure that every person in this community has hope. Right now, one of the…most significant signs of that lack of hope is the very visible presence of homelessness in our community,” he said.
Mayor Schrinner argued that churches and charities on the frontline had a crucial role in addressing homelessness and easing housing pressures.
Also, he said all levels of government had a role to play and needed to step up their investment and their responsibilities in housing, such as crisis accommodation, social housing and public housing. But he made it clear that, ultimately, those affected needed “hope”.
“… in the end, that hope will not be given by governments; it will be given by people on that one-on-one basis, people on the frontline who can provide that sense of hope,” he said.
“I know for the people in this room, and I know for myself personally and Nina – I know where we get our hope from. And it is not from government. It’s from there [he points upward].
“Our responsibility is to share that hope with the community. Our responsibility is to make sure that more and more people in our community have hope and meaning and connection.”
Christian radio station and event sponsor 96.5FM reported Mayor Schrinner as stating that it was the “Christian community’s responsibility to provide hope” to the citizens of Brisbane.
Image: Team Schrinner (Facebook)