Volunteers connecting with clients
Last Wednesday, Mark (not his real name) came into St John’s Care needing food and assistance.
He had lost his job and was waiting the required six weeks to receive Centrelink payments. Because of this wait he had no money left and was living out of his car.
Mark was accompanied by another homeless man who had previously been to SJC. He had told Mark who we are and what we do. They came into the Centre together as they both needed support.
The volunteer noticed that Mark was reluctant to make eye contact. He was feeling destitute and completely “shattered” to be in the situation of having to ask for help. He appeared very low within himself and stood hunched over.
He was only wearing shorts and a tee-shirt. The volunteer found some warm clothes for him. She asked for his size, then checked if he liked the colour and offered some options.
Asking this question lifted Mark. He stood straighter and his face brightened. Giving him this choice let him know he didn’t have to feel ashamed.
Mark then opened up and was more comfortable and at ease. The other gentleman who was with Mark noticed this and just smiled at the volunteer with thanks.
These connections between volunteers and clients are invaluable. The offer of choice, a welcoming smile and the hospitality offered at SJC make the clients who come through our door feel welcome and respected.
So far, this year, SJC has supported and assisted approximately 980 people with groceries, clothes, blankets, local transport, service information and emotional support.
In 2017 we supported 1502 people. Based on these numbers, we will assist over 2000 people by the end of this year. Therefore, your ongoing support is vital and greatly appreciated.
We would like to take this opportunity to farewell and thank Sue Jordan for all her years of service to SJC. The Centre has grown significantly over the years and for many of those years it was with the guidance of Sue.
Having Sue here over the past seven months has helped me enormously. Her knowledge of SJC and her hard work has been invaluable. We wish her all the best for the future and her upcoming travels.
SJC wish list for this week: Long life milk, tissues, sugar and tinned meat.
(Photo: some SJC volunteers)