Mar 12 2018, 10:00am AEDT
During one of our recent trips to West End, a regular client - a woman we’ll call Deanna - approached the van. Deanna spent the hour smiling and sharing with our volunteers - drinking cups of tea and eating biscuits with great enthusiasm.
This happy scene was a far cry from the first time she came up to the van.
When Deanna first came to us she was desperate. She felt beaten, down and disconnected.
Life for Deanna had been tough. Sleeping rough, moving in and out of unstable housing, as well as health problems, had taken their toll. Deanna was incredibly wary of services - she had been let down in the past.
In the beginning, she was untrusting and unsure of whether we could really help.
But Drug ARM didn’t give up on Deanna. Our volunteers checked in with her on their weekly visits to West End and built a genuine rapport with her. They would give her a cup of tea and a biscuit – often this was the first thing she had to eat that morning. It was the vital outreach of compassion that Deanna needed in her life.
Deanna’s story reminds me of how much a touch of humanity can mean to someone who feels judged, unloved and disconnected. People who visit our service like Deanna don’t have access to a phone or the internet. Often our patrols are one of the only times in their week where they know they have someone to connect with.
The biscuits, tea and coffee are important…but it’s a compassionate ear and constant encouragement that empowers people to make changes in their lives.
Although Deanna has come a long way in the past year, she still has work to do to reach her goals. To keep supporting her, we need to provide a reliable service that she can count on.
With your help, Deanna can keep accessing our Street Outreach Service and build a better life for herself. By donating online right now, you’ll help Deanna continue to access support and health services, gain meaningful employment and find stable housing.
Without our service, we know that Deanna would be likely to resort to desperate measures which could lead to trouble with the law. Deanna would be lonely and disconnected from vital services such as health, welfare and housing.
There are men, women and children just like Deanna who need our help right now. You can help turn sadness into laughter and helplessness into hopefulness.
Thank you for your support. It is only with your help that we can help people build a better life.
Look out for our newsletter where we hope to provide you with an update on how our Street Outreach Service continues to help the most vulnerable in our community.