ORDER UP: Chat Room barista Laura Ross is hoping more people like Karen Abrahams reach out and pay it forward.
ORDER UP: Chat Room barista Laura Ross is hoping more people like Karen Abrahams reach out and pay it forward. Chris Ison Rokcchatroom

Pay it forward for needy at Rockhampton's Chat Room Café

KAREN Abrahams knows how much a free meal can help someone who is homeless.

Which is why the Central Queensland Youth Justice regional director took time out of her day on Friday to pay it forward.

Karen, along with 10 fellow youth justice employees, donated to the Chat Room Café's suspended coffee initiative by each funding a meal for someone in need as part of Homelessness Prevention Week.

"One in 200 people are homeless in Australia every night and 9% of young people state wide experience some form of homelessness," she said.

"We wanted to raise awareness of the issue because a lot of our client group have experienced some form of homelessness and wanted to support a great initiative.

"We donated money to pay it forward to those people in the community who are in need.

"We're hoping this could be an ongoing thing that more people in the community get involved in because it's really important to support the concept of this."

According to Homelessness Australia 19,831 people are experiencing homelessness in Queensland with a third of that figure under the age of 18.

Chat Room Café employee Laura Ross, 18, said between five and 15 needy people were coming to the café every day for donated food.

"The idea of 'suspended coffee' was started when the café opened and aims to reach out to the needy people in our community and offer them a hand," she said.

"It was going really strong in the beginning but we have reached a low in our suspended coffee account so we want to get it back up and running.

"We have heaps of people still needing the food but we aren't getting the money to support it so it's great that a local organisation has come on board in supporting the people who need it the most," she said.

It is $4 to donate a meal or a coffee to someone in need at the Chat Room Café in Bolsover St.


Pay it forward is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor.