COVID-19 times affects us all in different ways, no more so than those who are lonely and desperate. The streets can be a very dangerous and scary place for people without a stable home or a roof over their head.
Over the past few months we have seen a new kind of guest attend our services, those who have fallen through the cracks and are invisible to society. In pre COVID-19 times these kind of Australians blended into society without sharing their desperation. Dressing and looking the part. However along came COVID-19 and all pretences were exposed. They had nowhere to go, no-one to talk to, and every single affordable option to transact within society norms was removed. With winter fast approaching we knew we needed to act fast.
Welcome to our Hangout Hall. A place for those with nowhere to go can hang out. Our Hangout Hall provides the homeless and needy with a safe, open and welcoming place to come and catch up on much needed sleep or just to relax. Our Hangout Hall now encompasses a lounge area, T.V., computer area, and an airconditioned resting area, with easy access to free meals, hot showers and free medical clinic.
According to one guest, male and 35 years old, “prior to COVID-19 I would spend my day in a leagues club or library, accessing free Wi-Fi, and importantly charging my laptop. I am not a gambler or a drinker, and these locations were my saviour. I would go to a different venue every day, I could hold my head high and feel part of society. At night nobody would know but I would go back to my van where I live with my own reality. With the onset of COVID-19 I had no where to go during the day. I was desperate for access to meals, human beings and the basics being power and toilets. Rev. Bill Crews Foundation literally provided me with a life jacket, a destination that was ‘open for business’ when no-one else was. The Hangout Hall had it all, including access to social workers who have now started to look at more permanent housing options”
The Rev. Bill Crews Foundation would like to acknowledge the generous donations that made the Hangout Hall come to life during COVID-19 including: Valiant Hire & Styling, Kennards Hire, Porter’s Paints, Koala, and Bliss Bean Bags along with over 200 hours of volunteering by the parents of Petersham Juniors Rugby Club, InnerWest Council, Craig Foster & #PlayForLives our guests have access to a comfy “chill out” zone 7 days a week.