• Anglicare youth worker Lauren Tucker with the crew behind the Good Grub Club. (NITV)Source: NITV
A support program in Brisbane has taken an innovative approach to tackling homelessness among young people - by starting a food truck run by and for homeless youth.
Ella Archibald-Binge

6 Jul 2019 - 7:43 AM  UPDATED 6 Jul 2019 - 7:44 AM

Cars line the streets and parents bundle their kids into strollers as the crowd starts to roll in for the annual PCYC Youth Multicultural Festival in Inala, a suburb south of Brisbane. 

Five thousand people are expected to take advantage of the festival's food, music and unlimited rides.

As they enter, they're greeted by a bright, multicoloured food truck, declaring itself the Good Grub Club in bold graffiti. 

It's a new venture from support service Anglicare, run by and for Brisbane's homeless youth, and the festival is its first test run. 

Inside, 16-year-old Raymond Mundy is excited for his first day of work. 

"This is my first job," he tells NITV News.

The Kamilaroi man is one of a handful of young people recruited by Anglicare to staff the van.

He's had a tough road to get to this point, but with his upbeat energy and unwavering smile, you'd never guess it.

"Before I started to grow up, I was always sad, but now I’m like – hey girl, who cares anymore!" he says. 

Raymond's parents have been in and out of prison for most of his life.

He and his six siblings became homeless in 2015. 

He lived with his grandparents for three years, then his aunty. At the start of this year, he spent three months in Anglicare's Insync crisis accommodation shelter. Anglicare helped him and his older sister find their own place, where they've been living for the past four months. 

"Without them, I wouldn’t be here today. They’re very good people," Raymond says.

His story isn't unique. More than 40 per cent of Queensland's homeless are under 25, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth are over-represented. 

At least one in 10 young people who access Anglicare's youth homelessness services are Indigenous. 

Anglicare Insync Manager Rees Maddren says crisis shelters are struggling to meet demand. 

"All our services are usually full and there are people that are trying to get into services like ours," he says. 

The food truck aims to help tackle the issue on two fronts: catering for the homeless population, and teaching homeless youth valuable skills about nutrition, cooking and hospitality.

Raymond Mundy says the experience is helping him beef up his resume for future jobs.

"I’m learning team skills, resilience, respect, and I’m learning how to cook, how to self maintain, health and safety issues... I learn new things every time I’m in the van."

As an added bonus, the crew has become "a little family", providing an extra support network. 

The Good Grub Club was set up with the Queensland Government's Dignity First Fund to help the state's homeless population. 

It's hoped it will eventually earn enough money to become self-sustainable, helping people like Raymond to stay positive in the face of adversity.

A night at the shelter 'putting faith back in humanity'
NITV spent a night at the Murri Watch diversionary centre, a place for Brisbane's most vulnerable people to stay, sober up or just have a chat over a cup of tea.