I always like to thank those who have given to our work. It’s because of these kind people that we have been able to change the lives of so many homeless Australians for almost 30 years. Together we’ve achieved much, but there is still a lot more to be done.
Today, many Australians are stuck in grinding poverty and the number of homeless people on our streets has reached crisis levels. I’m sure you’ve seen it. For these needy people life is a daily struggle.
Thankfully your support means that we are here for these battlers. It means we can give them a warm blanket and a nutritious meal, but that’s only part of what you make happen. The 800 meals we prepare every day are just the beginning.
Our commitment to the poor and homeless runs much deeper than simply filling their hunger. We want to help make their future truly better by giving them the support they need to get off the streets. That support takes the form of a range of specialised care services for our poor and homeless guests. We have doctors to put them on the road to better health. We have dentists to fix their teeth. We have counsellors to help them deal with traumas they have suffered, and we have social workers to find them housing and help get them employment.
All these care services make miracles happen at The Exodus Foundation – miracles like Mary. She is one of our volunteers in the Loaves & Fishes Free Restaurant and always keeps an eye out for our most vulnerable guests. The other day she told me why. “You wouldn’t recognise me, but years ago I used to come here for a meal. Your counsellors cared for me after I left a violent boyfriend and became homeless. They gave me a second chance”.
Life has turned full-circle for Mary thanks to the support she got from our care services. She’s an example of how your donation gives so much more than just meals; it can give a new life too.
Jim is another of our guests who got a whole new life thanks to you. He was a kind and honest homeless man who would come to us for a meal. I’d often sit with Jim in our Loaves & Fishes Free Restaurant and we got to know each other well.
I knew he could really benefit from our care services, so my Exodus Foundation doctors set about improving his health and our social workers helped find accommodation. With great encouragement Jim even got a job interview, but there was a problem. He would need time off to go to hospital for an operation and he worried that if he told his potential employer he mightn’t get the job.
But Jim was an honest man and he felt it wouldn’t be right to say nothing, so our social workers helped him prepare for the interview. His honesty shone through and he got the job! His new employer was even happy to give him the time off. I’m proud of Jim and his story shows how our care services lift people out of the despair of homelessness and into a better future.
Sometimes our care services can be life savers too. I vividly remember meeting a frail, old homeless man named Ted. He was sitting on a park bench and I was shocked to learn he’d only just been discharged from hospital that day.
I asked Ted where he was going to spend the night. “Right here in the park”, he told me. “I don’t have anywhere else to go”. As we sat together it was clear to me that Ted had not recovered enough to leave hospital, let alone sleep rough that night.
I was determined this could not happen. A night in the cold might be too much in Ted’s frail condition. So once again our Exodus Foundation care services came to the rescue. Our social workers found Ted a warm, comfortable room and our doctors made sure he got the medication he needed.
Ted, Jim and Mary are just three of the countless number of homeless people who’ve had their lives made better thanks to your support of my Exodus Foundation. The care services that we provide them make all the difference.
Giving a battler a better future involves more than just providing a hot meal, it’s about listening to them and understanding their problems. It’s about showing we care. That’s exactly what all our care services do. Like when our dentist fixed the missing teeth of one of our poverty-stricken guests and our social workers helped him get a job the following week.
Giving the poor and homeless a new start at life takes a team of dedicated professionals. It takes the caring support of all the social workers, counsellors, doctors and dentists at The Exodus Foundation.
That’s why it’s so important to me that I have your support. You can make everything I’ve told you in this letter possible. Australians living in poverty need caring people like you to support us and the work we do.
Together we really can grow hope and make the future better. We can make our community a kinder, more caring place for the most needy. That’s why I’m asking you to give this Spring. Please continue to support my Exodus Foundation and the important work we do by making a kind donation today.
Rev. Bill Crews.