It’s spring time and I want to tell you about my determination to grow hope. It’s a determination that drives everything we do at The Exodus Foundation. Crucially it focuses our attention on improving the health of our needy guests.
I’m talking about rough sleepers like Terry who was frail and suffered many of the illnesses common to the homeless – including diabetes and heart disease. Terry’s home was a suburban bus shelter and he came to us for hot meals. One day we noticed he’d gone missing.
Sadly we found Terry in hospital. He’d had a fall, but was about to be discharged with nothing more than a few pills and a list of boarding houses . My team and I knew we had to swing into action, or Terry would face a dire future.
He needed immediate accommodation, but equally importantly he needed to have his illnesses managed. Thanks to your support we were able to do both.
We found Terry a warm room to live in and our team of doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals gave their time to get him well again. It shows how, when we all care, we can make the lives of even the poorest in our community much better.
Over 25-years ago we conducted our first health profile of Sydney’s homeless and needy. Recently we repeated the process and I was saddened to find that not much had changed. Both studies showed that most of the homeless and needy people who came to us suffered two or more chronic illnesses. Incredibly, these illnesses were the same – 25-years later! They included depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancers and other blood disorders.
The health of the homeless and the needy has not improved. That’s why we do more than just give them nutritious meals. We have a team of dedicated healthcare professionals to help manage their illnesses and put them on the road to better health.
Evidence shows that giving homeless people this sort of care helps get them off the streets. Thanks to your support we have doctors, nurses, dentists and social workers who all give up their time, working together to improve the health of all our homeless and needy guests.
Our doctors produce miracles – both big and small. Just today they were able to provide medication for a homeless man to ease his anxiety about moving from the streets to a safe, warm room. These seemingly small interventions create major changes in the lives of our guests.
You see, the hot meals and warm blankets we give to rough sleepers are only the beginning. With your help we are determined to do much more: To get them off the streets and make their health, and their lives better.
Yesterday a guest caught my arm as I walked through The Exodus Foundation. It was Sarah, a real battler who had one of the broadest smiles I’ve ever seen – albeit toothless! She beamed up at me and revealed a full set of beautiful teeth. She’d just got a set of dentures from our dentist. Now she can eat properly and our social workers already have plans to help find her a job. “I’m so grateful”, she told me. “There sure is a lot of love in this place”.
Sarah is right, there is a lot of love at my Exodus Foundation. From the volunteers in our Loaves & Fishes Free Restaurant to our healthcare team, they all genuinely care for our needy guests. I truly believe working with the homeless is more than just a job, it is a spiritual commitment. It is a mission, a human calling. Every one of us at The Exodus Foundation understand this, big time! And I’m sure you share that sentiment too.
Our commitment to the betterment of the most needy in our community is total. That is why I am so proud to tell you about all we achieve thanks to your support. As Sarah told me, it’s all about love. Love is the healing factor. Love is what works. Love makes their lives better.
So I invite you to be a part of this remarkable success. I invite you to be a part of improving the health of our homeless and needy guests. With your support we can manage their illnesses and get them off the streets. And once that step is made, we can help them find employment and a better future.
I’m determined to do this. That’s why I’m asking you to support me with a kind-hearted, tax-deductible donation today. The support you give will make a genuine and meaningful difference to the life of someone far less fortunate. So please, show the love in your heart and give today.
Rev. Bill Crews