People often ask me why I do what I do – helping the homeless can be a thankless task. I do it out of love. I believe it shows that everyone – even the poorest of the poor – should all be equally loved.

It’s a deep philosophical commitment for me and that’s why I want to tell you how we are planing to do even more to help Sydney’s rough sleepers.

Rough sleepers need more than just meals

Last time I emailed you I explained that we were establishing a fleet of food vans to take our meals directly to the poorest places in Sydney. In fact, we’re preparing over 4,500 meals each month to take out in our food vans to meet the need. But these meals are just the beginning.

People living in this sort of poverty need much more than that. Rough sleepers come to my vans on cold nights not just because they are hungry and need a hot meal, but because they are in need of extra care too.

We’re giving the extra care they need

Often they ask for a warm sleeping bag. Sometimes they need basic medical attention, like patching up blisters and cuts. And on other occasions they need crisis support. So now we are planning to take our extra care services on the road.

To do this we are gearing up our emergency frontline services and our healthcare team. We’ll have shoes and warm clothing on board our vans, as well as sleeping bags, blankets and even basic toiletries including hygiene products for ladies who can’t afford them.

Our community nurse will be available too. Of course, we will be leveraging off the experience gained from our Social Health & Wellbeing Centre in Ashfield to provide the best frontline healthcare to those we see.

Poverty-stricken Margie counts on us

With your help we are already making a huge difference to so many lives. Indeed a frail, poverty-stricken mother in one suburb counts on us. Her name is Margie and she is a tiny woman, but she’s got a big heart.

Every night she comes to our food van to get a meal to take home and share with her disabled son. Whenever I see her I ask how they are doing. She always replies “Okay”, but I know things aren’t really okay. Instead she takes my hand and asks me if I’m all right – it’s humbling.

We also help Margie and her son with warm clothes and blankets. She’s always grateful and in my heart-of-hearts I think she’s embarrassed to accept our charity. But the love she shows us moves us to do all we can.

Without the support you give us, God only knows how Margie and her son would survive.

My vision is to do so much more than just give meals to people like Margie. I want to show them loving compassion. I want to take our care services to where they live. I want to give them the basic healthcare that every Australian deserves.

That’s why I’m asking you to donate today. If you do, we can keep serving hot meals from our food vans. We can take warm clothes and blankets to the streets and park benches where the homeless sleep, and we can patch up their sore, blistered feet.

God bless,
Rev. Bill Crews

About the Author: Bill Crews

Rev. Bill Crews AM is a much-loved Australian who's given over 3 million meals to the hungry and taught thousands of underprivileged kids to read. He's been recognised by The Rotary Foundation and Ernst & Young. He is on the National Trust’s list of 100 “National Living Treasures”.