Last week, John (not his real name) came to St John’s Care to thank us for the assistance we gave him three years ago. He came to us when he was homeless, unemployed and struggling. He said he had hit rock bottom, fallen into deep depression and was of the belief that his life was never going to look better or any different.
At the time, John was moved to tears from the very simple act of a volunteer offering him a cup of coffee. No one had offered him a coffee in a very long time, nor made one for him. He was overwhelmed by this simple act of hospitality. Then he sat with the volunteer to share his story which was very important to him.
When he came that day, John received food, a sleeping bag and information about other services in the area who could assist him long-term. He said this was the beginning of a process of change for him. Over those three years, he applied for housing, was able to access Centrelink and now has a job. He attends his local Men’s Shed, has friends and a social network.
To say thank you to SJC, he came with a bag of groceries, so we could assist someone else. I was very moved by John’s story and the fact he took the time to pop in, say thanks and help others.
I notice in the Canberra Times that Australian job seekers living below the poverty line have been granted an increase to their Newstart allowance of 50 cents a day - or a total of $7.00 to the base fortnightly payment of $545.80. The Brotherhood of St Laurence executive director Conny Lenneberg said “You can buy very little for 50 cents a day.”
So far this month SJC has supported and assisted approximately 220 people with food, financial matters, information and moral support.
We would like to thank all those who attended the working bee last Saturday. St John’s Care is now looking wonderful both on the inside and outside.
Wish list: Peanut butter, tinned meat, large tuna tins and small fruits for school lunches.