‘VAKS’ is shorthand for Vans and Kitchens.
It is our way of expressing what is often called a ‘soup kitchen’ - a place where food and drink is offered to the poor and homeless for free or at a reasonably low price. Commonly run by church groups or community groups they are often staffed by volunteers, and are usually located where needs are highest.
VAKS represents a voluntary network of autonomous community organisations who offer a range of services distinctively by way of a van or kitchen.
VAKS is not an organisation but a community service website. It has been constructed for ease of use by anyone needing to know the when, where, what and who of a van or kitchen, and has been designed with users, providers, welfare agencies, public organisations and the general public in mind. This website can be used as tool to promote the services of each of the providers who have given their information to VAKS, without impeding on their autonomy or their organisational structure.
It also offers a loose-knit forum and a common point of contact for providers,with the added advantage of being a notice board for information and updates. At the same time it provides a facility to speak with one voice as a ‘peak body’ when necessary.
The goal is simply to provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ resource for anyone seeking information about a van or kitchen around inner Brisbane or beyond to Queensland’s Great South East.
VAKS is the initiative of ChaplainWatch Inc.
ChaplainWatch, as part of its NightWatch Project identified that the food vans in inner Brisbane lacked a central ‘when, where, what and who’ van list for use by welfare agencies and organisations. As a result, between January 2006 - September 2008, ChaplainWatch began producing the VAKS list with the able and diligent assistance of Francis DeRoia, aka 'Wheels'. This list was circulated to a small group of people and welfare agencies, which allowed more effective communication and co-ordination of the vans and kitchens. With the introduction of the VAKS website in October 2008, we now believe this unique site will serve to reach a broader audience – further meeting the needs of the homeless, service providers and welfare agencies in our community.
ChaplainWatch is an autonomous Brisbane-based not-for-profit charity, fully endorsed by the ATO and operating as an Incorporated Association under a Board of Management within ChaplainWatch Inc.
It is a laterally conceived community service which focuses on public safety in public spaces, overnight.
It offers unique non-authoritarian crisis intervention, conflict resolution, front line first aid, direct counselling, secondary victim support and welfare assistance through public safety mobile patrols.
The Chaplains proactively patrol the CBD, Fortitude Valley and Caxton Street precincts, looking out for anyone in crisis, at risk, or in need. By means of a rapid response service they work in partnership with official services – police, ambulance, Brisbane City Council, venue security, management and taxi services/operations. This service is saving lives and making the streets a safer place for us all to enjoy.
Its Chaplains are trusted, compassionate and responsive to the people's needs within the Brisbane entertainment precincts to provide a positive presence when it matters – “there when the good times go bad.”
For more information about ChaplainWatch, please visit www.chaplainwatch.com