Maddington: HD Streetwise helping homeless in unique style

HD Streetwise founder Shelley Hubon wrapping presents with P&N Bank’s Joy Evans.
HD Streetwise founder Shelley Hubon wrapping presents with P&N Bank’s Joy Evans.

A Maddington charity is helping the homeless in a unique new way, by providing them with birthday presents.

Support group HD Streetwise launched the initiative, where they give presents to homeless people around Perth.

The charity encourages people to donate $20 gifts and a birthday card to the cause.

They then link with other organisations to distribute them to the homeless living in shelters and halfway houses on their birthday.

HD Streetwise founder Shelley Hubon said while there is no contact between the sender and recipient, it is the thought which counts.

“It reminds them that yes, somebody is thinking of them on their birthday and yes, they are a special person.

“No matter what has gone on or what has happened, they are valuable human beings.”

Ms Hubon has witnessed first-hand the effect the simple act of gift giving has.

“I had a very long day and I’d actually not been well, but it was important the gift was delivered.

“I knocked on the door, and this person answered.

“I said ‘Is Peter here’, he said, “I’m Peter’, I said ‘Happy birthday Peter’ and the look on his face was worth its weight in gold.

“The glow that came from this man made me feel like I was Santa Clause.”

Ms Hubon said the homeless’ birthdays could be among the “loneliest days of their lives.”

Homelessness Australia statistics from 2014 revealed there were 9595 homeless people within Western Australia.

The study also revealed 43.2 per cent of the homeless population resided within specialist homeless dwellings, such as shelters.

A recent $1000 grant from the P&N Bank will assist HD Streetwise in this initiative, as well as their other operations.