Offering hope to the homeless

Helping homeless people has become common place for a local pastor. Picture: file pic
Helping homeless people has become common place for a local pastor. Picture: file pic

She said before the move 10 months ago, from a less visible spot in Kenwick, she had not noticed the problem so much.

Now, almost daily she was helping the homeless, or those with homes but nothing to eat.

She said people mainly sought food parcels, and since winter had set in, closed shoes, jumpers and blankets, which she now kept ready.

‘One man came in every day for a while for a hot drink and then one day asked if he could have a sleep in one of the rooms,’ she said.

‘He said he never really slept, because he was worried people were going to steal his stuff, and he was just tired.

‘They tend to just sleep in alcoves, or under the bridge, anywhere with shelter or where people store bins.

‘Another young guy tries to do odd jobs for people and get up enough money to buy a piece of meat at the supermarket, and he’ll go and cook it on the park barbecue and that’s his meal for the day.

‘He was sleeping in the stands at the football oval.’

In an effort to meet demand, Ms Warwick is setting up a Hope Centre to help people call support services, fill in forms, use computers to job-search, as well as access clothes and food.

It will also offer free English lessons and courses in budgeting and preparing cheap meals.

‘These are the needs that have come by my door,’ she said.

‘It will be staffed by church volunteers, who can even just sit and talk to people who are at their wits end.

‘There is help out there, but not everyone can access it. We’re just trying to be a link.’