(above) The sensor lights stay off at night at the Laura and Alfred West Cottage Units for aged people in Elizabeth. This creates anxiety for the residents some of whom are 90 years old and so feeble they can barely check their mail box twice a week. It creates an ideal situation for the local housebreakers.
(above) But during the day these and other high energy lights burn brightly around the complex of sixteen units. Multiple requests over the past eight months to fix the problem have been ignored by Anglicare housing manager Rhonda Callaghan. Yet Anglicare staff have approached tenants about buying their own solar panels to save power.
Are the Hutt Street Centre bossesout of their minds?
With an annual budget sustaining numerous
salaried employees, how can the Hutt Street Centre, with its homeless
clientele, justify putting timers on their showers. How insulting and how
impractical this is for people whose core body temperature has dropped during
these cold nights sleeping on the ground. If the Hutt Street Centre stayed open during the
afternoon then the queues for the showers would be reduced. And what happened
to the shower room once used by the nuns?
The Hutt Street Centre management need help regaining
a proper sense of homeless priorities.
29 June 2015
Mental Illness Fellowship
A highly educated man told me that the Mental
Illness Fellowship of South Australia (MIFSA) has been taken over by people
chasing money. He said they turn up in their convoy of late model cars each
day, but appear to do little more than tokenistic classes and counseling, which
have very little positive effect on those “experiencing mental health issues”.
A woman working with young criminals of 14 to 16
years old corroborated this view saying the professional health workers with
the state government cost fabulous amounts of money yet achieved little of
value for anyone, but themselves.
29 June 2015
Next Friday is the free food market day at the
Salvation Army at 277 Pirie Street, Adelaide. Doors open at 9:00am and anyone
can grab a few bags of fresh food and processed food past the use-by date, plus
The best time to arrive is about 8:45am though
Mrs Judith Telstra is there at 7:00am. It finishes at about 11:30am.
They don’t require the intrusive I.D. checking
that is required at the Hutt Street Centre lunch.
It is a social and theatrical event and far more
interesting than a mundane shopping trip to Coles or Woolworths.
28 June 2015
Old folk living outside
The white-haired man in his late fifties or
early sixties wore ear buds as he examined the new swag given to him by a
Salvation Army member last night. He
walked away then returned and gave it another cursory examination, as if not
quite believing his luck.
He had that quiet wariness of someone living
outside, and when I asked readily agreed that that was the case.
Beck and her entourage were missing from the
Magdalene Centre, but an older white-haired woman sat quietly outside. She
carried bags bulging with sleeping wear. She wore a woolen cap that partly
enclosed her ruddy face. She rarely speaks to anyone, but will exchange a
greeting to a friendly face. She has been in the scene for years and it appeared
she would be sleeping outside last night.
Over on River Street at Marden there are blocks
of Housing Trust units due for demolition as soon as the current tenants can be
Meanwhile, half the units have been empty for
nearly a year.
So why doesn’t the Jay Weatherill government
offer the empty units on short term leases to those currently living outside? Whatever
the condition of the units, sleeping in them is better for most people than
being disturbed, robbed and rained on at night.
I can’t think of words contemptuous enough to
describe the politicians and bureaucrats who allow this situation to continue.
How does one formulate an adequately scathing
evaluation of the salaried employees at Adelaide’s homeless agencies? They get
school kids to collect donations to sustain their salaries, yet won’t say a
word against the government leaving units and houses empty.
28 June 2015
A woman told me she went to the Christening of
her niece at the Pilgrim Church recently. They went through the back door for
the 10:00am ritual. She said they walked between people in sleeping bags lying
under the back verandah.
Driving into South Terrace there is a verandah
of a sports building enclosed in blankets and tarpaulins. Whoever runs the
building has a benevolent attitude.
Later that evening someone in a late model SUV
followed me through roads around the South Parklands. I made the strategic
error of parking for five minutes opposite the BusinessSA carpark where the
decomposing body of Anne-Marie Sheehy was found.
When I stopped, the SUV was stopped fifty metres
away; when I moved, it moved the similar distance.
28 June 2015
“I don’t want to see that face.”
This is what Salvation Army veteran Grandma Margaret B.
told Piano Player Wayne when he walked into the free food room last Saturday
evening at 277 Pirie Street. Margaret was choosing a pair of used shoes for a
man with swollen legs.
Twenty minutes later she walked over to Wayne’s
table in the main hall and with half closed eyes seethed:“There go you but for
the grace of God. Don’t you ever do that again.”
Wayne said he didn’t know what that was all
about. Wayne and Margaret have been Army antagonists for decades. They’re both
Army Royalty. Margaret is healthy and in her early seventies while Wayne is 38,
but sick with the after effects of chemotherapy.
28 June 2015
Adelaide CEO SleepOut Report
“An insightful evening into the plight of our
Many different stories are told that have led to
Many different and heartening stories for those
in the community that care and are trying to make difference.
Competition for fundraising dollars makes it
difficult for the many organisation to make a real difference.
Victoria Square is very noisy at night!”
Mike Walters Chief Information Officer Royal Automobile Association South Australia
27 June 2015
Margaret versus Piano Player Wayne
Grandma Margaret B. demanded of Piano Player
Wayne why he was passing through the usually prohibited cafe. It was an
opportune chance of embarrassing him.
Wayne simply told her he was and asked if she
wanted to follow him and watch what he did. Nearby volunteers smirked.
What the worthy Margaret hadn’t realised was that another
Army worker had announced over the public address system that the usual toilets
were out-of-order, and that everyone was directed to use the facilities back of
the cafe. 26 June 2015
Trock abuses The Captain
Trock spoke out of place at the Magdalene Centre
last Saturday evening when he began a ten minute rave against The Captain. While
pointing his outstretched right arm to the vestibule where The Captain had
retreated, he mocked the old man for not having a shower, for being too old,
for needing to be put down, for collecting bags of bread daily to feed the
Trock isn’t dangerous nor a nasty human, but he
lacks emotional empathy for the decrepit Captain.
Of course, we all wonder why The Captain keeps
searching rubbish bins on Hindley Street when he’s probably drowning in junk in
his house at Mile End.
But maybe he’s like “Doc”, who was in residency
at WestCare in the 1990’s. After moving into a nice clean flat, Doc told me he
missed the trees, looking up at them while being semi-conscious and paralytic
drunk. It was the trees he missed.
Perhaps The Captain likes the early morning fog,
or the chill of the night, or the familiar smell of the restaurant bins and
needs an excuse to go out into the world.
26 June 2015
Complex Morality of C.E.O. Sleepout
You can find the soaked cardboard sheeting amongst
the trees back of the Obedience Dog Club in the South Parklands. You won’t see
the fifty or so secret sleeping areas because at dawn they are disguised by
their departing nocturnal residents.
Over on Victoria Square the other fifty or so
campers are easily located. They don’t hide because their camping has been
approved by the authorities; they are under police protection.
What these campers won’t experience is the fear
and desperation that permeates the mind and body of those campers hiding.
Is the C.E.O. Sleepout similar to the scenario
of well fed people being sponsored to set up camp near a place of famine, and
missing a meal to show their solidarity with the starving people?
And the money raised? What benefit will those
people tonight hiding amongst the wet grass and bushes experience? Cars, counselors,
And remember, it is the fear and despair that
hurts more than the cold and wet? That can’t be recreated in Victoria Square
25 June 2015 P.S. Good luck to the Sleepout C.E.O.’s. Your
attitude is as important as the result.
The woman I will call “Alvira” lives in the
Elizabeth units administered by Rude Rhonda Callaghan of Anglicare. Alvira says
that Sheila from the Elizabeth South units told her that Rude Rhonda has been ordered
not to speak to tenants about anything except tenancy issues.
This is in contrast to Rhonda’s predecessor, Sue
Jackson, who kept an eye out for the most vulnerable tenants. In our units
seven tenants are aged 90, 88, 87, 85, 79, 79, 77, and
most are in extremely fragile health.
Alvira told me that Rude Rhonda’s grass cutter
is an idiot because he prunes the roses out of season, and chops the buds off
at every opportunity. Alvira said he claims to have a “Degree” in gardening,
but does little more than walk around the property with a noisy petrol blower that
throws debris onto the verandahs.
Our conversation changed direction and Alvira tried not to cry as she remembered
when “Jerry” swooped over the houses on her road as she walked to school and dropped
bombs in broad daylight, and strafed pedestrians.
25 June 2015
Bit of a rave
The Hutt Street Centre closes its day centre at
1pm each day? It used to be open until 4:30pm back in the days when the
Daughters of Charity operated it on a much lower budget. Those were the days
when Ray Doyle and his alcoholic friends watched Lassie on T.V. When Mike
McAleer and his dad were big names in Whitmore Square. When Ian Cox played
football and went to school. When “Doc” in his white shirt and dust mask was
resident at WestCare.
The ominous comparison to Hutt Street is the Byron
Place Community Centre. Reducing its hours was the beginning of the end for Byron
With increasing media coverage on homelessness,
and new organisations springing up and claiming to help people living outside,
there are actually less practical services being offered than previously.
There has been a shift in the homeless welfare industry
from actual services to an increased flurry of public relations activities.
25 June 2015
Mrs Telstra kicked out of WestCare
Mrs Judith Telstra was ordered to leave the WestCare homeless joint by staff after a dispute with someone named Lauren.
Lauren grabbed a bunch of celery from Mrs Telstra saying she had already taken enough. Lauren then, according to a witness, kept the celery for herself.
When Mrs Telstra went to use the free phone another employee blocked her, according to the witness.
Depending on whom one speaks to, she was banned from WestCare for the rest of the day, or for a whole week.
Mrs Telstra already faces disputes at her strata title unit in Burnside where neighbours are angry about the odour of rotting vegetables emanating from her rubbish bins. She says others have broken into her unit. She is beside herself with anxiety.
Mrs Telstra appears a harmless woman captured by a compulsive addiction to the adrenalin produced from anxiety. It is consuming her life yet how many of us can change our own behaviour patterns no matter how devastating they are to our lives.
With luck, the likeable Mrs Telstra will escape this whirlwind and enjoy the experience of her latter decades.
25 June 2015
Corrrection: "Lauren disputes that she grabbed the celery from Judith; she says it was the other way around, that Judith grabbed it out of HER hand". Note from Editor: From memory, I might have got it wrong as it is usually Mrs Judith Telstra who grabs things. 11 January 2016
The Crazy Guy
Few in the crowded Salvation Army room doubted that “The Crazy Guy” was going to be anything but trouble.
He wore a yellow blanket over one shoulder and his face was red from sleeping outside. He fast paced up and down the room, talking like a race caller. Captain Laurel called him as he was about to fly out the back door. They went into the free clothing room to look for a jacket for him. An hour later, he was sitting on the verandah with “The Man formerly known as The Drug Addict”. The Crazy Guy was shouting that “these people are immoral”.
The Man formerly known as the Drug Addict remonstrated with The Crazy Guy, saying the Army people helped them both, and others. The argument became abusive so one of the volunteers called the police. He did it because “the girls were frightened”.
This was a well meant, but an overly protective reaction. Volunteers should understand that this most unique atmosphere puts them in very little danger. By the time the police arrived both men had disappeared, but it seemed unfortunate that “The Man formerly known as the Drug Addict” felt he had to make himself scarce.
No criticism is directed to the veteran volunteers who use their professional skills to create such an interesting atmosphere. Nor the person who called the police; they seemed amused.
As to the general atmosphere, where else can one find a safe haven that doesn’t require I.D., provides food and quality coffee, doesn’t cost a cent, and operates well past midnight.
25 June 2015
Rumour has it that WestCare may be closing its
day centre on Fridays. This seems unlikely as rumours have been flowing for two
years that the day centre is closing down permanently.
25 June 2015
homeless people pushing Coles shopping trolleys and others
Sarah complained on Tuesday at Mary’s Kitchen in
the Uniting Church on Jetty Road, Glenelg that each week she has to ask others
to leave the most accessible table vacant so she and her husband can park the
two prams carrying their two baby kids.
Exacerbating the problem last Tuesday was a
woman on an invalid scooter attempting to edge around the prams. She couldn’t
get by because the tables are too close together.
Even with Liberty Life poaching guests, Mary’s
Kitchen has a problem seating everyone comfortably.
A similar situation exists at the Salvation Army
building in Pirie Street where both management and guests don’t accept that an
electric scooter is a walking aid, and not exclusively an outdoor vehicle.
With what seems an increasing number of elderly
and disabled people on electric scooters using homeless joints there should be
an area set aside in the dining room for them, and possibly a charge point as
batteries on old machines have a terrible range before they go dead.
Hutt Street Centre has adapted quicker as a
scooter was seen being charged inside the building.
The RAA has set the standard by offering a
callout service for those on these machines.
25 June 2015
Semaphore Fred’s Van no good
Two men were talking about the Fred’s Van meal
served at St Bede’s church hall in Semaphore on Sundays from 6:00 - 6:30pm. They
said that thirty minutes for the meal wasn’t enough time to follow through the
queue, collect a plate, find a seat and finish the meal. One said, “You’re
still eating while you’re walking out the door.”
The Fred’s Van staff go to the trouble of
preparing a decent feed, but don’t understand that most guests live in the
local psychiatric hostels and pay $750 a fortnight for a shared room and meals.
They go to Fred’s Van for the social outing as much as a change in the food.
The 30-minute time limit should be extended to
ninety minutes, at least.
24 June 2015Note: The Fred’s Van Sunday meal has no connection
to the St Bede’s free breakfasts served on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.
Uniting Care Glenelg's honest
use of words
Lisa McGrath asked parishioners of
St. Andrew’s by the Sea Uniting Church for food donations for their Community
Aid Welfare Outreach. She suggested items such as milk, Vegemite, breakfast
cereal, breakfast biscuits, small tuna, Tampons, sanitary napkins, deodorant,
shampoo. She added that donations “are a welcome top-up to the very basic value
of a food voucher the Community Aid is able to give.”
The refreshing difference between
this and most pitches for donations was an apparent admission by Lisa that the
supermarket food vouchers they offer are of low value. Most welfare
organisations exaggerate the value of what they offer to the poor, but Lisa was
more realistic, and deserves praise for it.
24 June 2015
Can collector’s statistics
A can collector at Fred’s Van said that he
estimates he has collected 1.2 million cans since 2000. He’s nearing the end of
his career due to a congested heart condition, but last night he was taking his
bicycle to an office rubbish bin to collect the aluminium covers on discarded blinds.
The recycling price has dropped $1.60 a kilogram and he thought he’d collect
about 20 kilos by midnight.
24 June 2015
Rude Rhonda Callaghan from Anglicare conducted
an inspection of the Laura and Alfred West Cottage Homes Incorporated units at
Kilburn last week. They’re rented most by tenants over the age of 65. She inspected
the units for dirty showers, dirty toilets, unmopped floors, unmade beds and
other lifestyle issues.
One tenant in another group of units recently
inspected by Rude Rhonda says that when she makes the lifestyle inspections she
doesn’t ask about maintenance issues.
24 June 2015
The Uniting Care Glenelg Board did not ban Piano
Teacher Wayne’s Therapy Cat from the Mary’s Kitchen soup kitchen on Tuesdays,
as stated in this column four days ago.
The truth is that they haven’t discussed it
formally, but generally see the argument that since it is a “Therapy Cat” it could be
given the same status as a Guide Dog.
24 June 2015
The culture within Street-to-Home
It’s been years now since the former manager of Street-to-home, Greg Calder, assaulted a man in their front office when this man took a photograph. The flash so surprised Calder that he lost his cool and spent the next minute swinging and throwing the disabled man around the office.
Like many people do when they’ve made a mistake of this kind, Calder called the police and claimed to be the victim. The officers saw through his ruse and didn’t even interview the disabled photographer who also didn’t think it worthy of a police complaint.
Nevertheless, when the disabled man made an official complaint to the Department of Health, the bureaucrats determined the complaint wasn’t worthy of action, then they deliberately ensured that not a single note of the incident went into the departmental files.
The complaint was so corruptly handled it resembled the procedures of FamiliesSA in their cover-ups of paedophiles working in the Department of Education.
23 June 2015
Peter Sandeman of Anglicare
The Reverend Peter Sandeman is the C.E.O. of
Anglicare so it took a few days to reach his personal email account.
He received my email on 18 May 2015 advising of
the unsafe disability ramps at the front of two Anglicare-administered units
occupied by two fragile elderly women. I asked that he remedy the situation.
He responded in detail on 28 May 2015 advising
that a Trish
Buhagiar would look into it.
Rude Rhonda Callaghan has been to see the two tenants and we all await the
outcome, which will be reported on this website.
22 June 2015
St Luke’s lunch no good
A man who doesn’t usually go to the St Luke’s
$3.00 lunch said that the day he went last week the food was absolute rubbish.
22 June 2015
Photographs of clients on Salvo webpage
A reader comments that
what the salvos call us "clients" continue to be put up on there
"welovethiscity" facebook page, even with people protesting about it
they continue to do it. and theres even a rumor that those operating the page
are actually clients themselves. The salvos could be walking a fine line."
22 June 2015
WestCare slashes cook’s budget
Heather has been told to produce their $2.50
lunches from a lower budget. She is concerned it might not be possible to have
the Thursday roasts.
Pies and pasties have been replaced for the free
meal with rolls, which might not be a loss depending on their fillings.
22 June 2015
Lance Armstrong is worried about
cross-contamination at Fred’s Van in Gawler Place.
This occurs when a guest gets a refill of soup
or rice or curry and the ladle used by the server touches the side of the
guests bowl then is put back into the pot. Germs. Bad ones. Lance is concerned.
The slack volunteers should lift their game.
22 June 2015
The ice-cream on Wednesday at the Salvation Army
free meal at 277 Pirie Street, Adelaide was half melted, even two-thirds
melted. This was bad and a sign of incompetence. Why provide quality ice-cream
then let it sit in the kitchen melting.
22 June 2015
Psychiatric enforcers roaming the parklands
The “Unauthorised Camping Operations Guidelines”
of the Adelaide City Council states their policy is to inform Street-to-Home of
all campsites in the Adelaide Parklands.
Street-to-home, despite its cosy name, is
actually a government psychiatric organisation based in their secret location
at 15 Bentham Street, Adelaide. Their smiling social workers have direct access
to psychiatric nurses, and to doctors who can slap a camper with a psychiatric
detention and treatment order.
These people have little to do with housing, and
more to do with sending homeless campers to “psychiatric homes”.
25 June 2015
Fussy welfare diners
Last Wednesday’s free meal at the Salvation Army
was hotdogs with cheese and ham. A woman I will call “Tough Girl” didn’t want
the bun and insisted I take it. She wanted the frankfurt, which was fine; she
wanted the cheese, too, but I said, “uh, uh.”
Meanwhile, Father Christmas took Tough Girl’s
bun, but gouged out the inner dough that he described as, “shit that makes you
unhealthy”. He did the same to his.
I don’t eat ham so I picked the small cubes from
the cheese and gave it to Father Christmas, who is the oldest of us, but the
strongest and most healthy.
This pathetic routine is a survival game for us,
to hone our skills for living outside despite the fact that our days of
destitution are over.
21 June 2015
The tactic for any charitable syndicate when
holding others for ransom is to appear to be their prisoner’s benefactors.
You hear it every winter from homeless welfare
executives making their pleas for more money.
The welfare spokesperson will say in a
heart-rending voice that they’ll have to cut back on homeless services if the
government cuts back on funding. A “helped” person, jacked up on “happy pills”,
might be presented on their website, or even at public meetings. It’s a ransom
demand and self-praise bundled into one sentence.
And if the government reduces funding, who in
the welfare organisation lose their jobs? As one retired journalist told me,
“It’s always the bottom end services that go first.”
The executives retain their salaries until the
ship goes down, and then jump onto another welfare vessel like Common Ground or
another welfare syndicate.
21 June 2015
A meeting of unpaid volunteers who drive old
people on shopping trips was told last month that the Prospect Council was out
of money. Mobile phones have been removed from the buses and even some
transport services have been cancelled despite being driven by unpaid drivers.
However, at considerable expense, the carpets have
been replaced for the paid bureaucrats in the main Council building.
21 June 2015
A sad Casino story
Vietnamese-born Sky City Casino employee Cynthia
spent a whole hour with the man I’ll call “Bill” on the soft lounge chairs in
Cent City last Thursday. With his eyes focused in the distance, Bill delivered
long monologues seemingly spoken into thin air.
It was difficult to hear what Cynthia was
saying, but it seemed that the welcome mat has been removed for Bill.
When he took two guests to the exclusive Grange
Room, an employee told him, “Don’t bring them here again.” Bill was also
unhappy that the staff in the Barossa Room cafe were rude to him.
And his happiness level went down further when a
Casino employee grabbed his Platinum Card and replaced it with Diamond, which
means he can’t enter the Grange Room.
Recently, the Casino paid for a taxi home simply
to get Bill out of the building.Bill frequently
talks about suicide after losing his money. He talks of his suicidal thoughts to
his psychiatrist, financial counselor, and gambling counselor.
Casino staff have called an ambulance for Bill
on two occasions. The Royal Adelaide Hospital talked to him for a few hours on
one occasion; on another they kept him there overnight.
Bill’s lifetime savings have been lost to the
Casino, and much of his personal possessions are at Cash Converters. He is aged
about 65 and lives in a Housing Trust semi-detached unit. You can find him
queued up at soup kitchens for the homeless.
His high-roller status is gone at the Casino and
he is reduced to hanging around Cent City with, strangely, quite wealthy old
men who accept the Sky City free offers, but wouldn’t dream of gambling when a
disastrous outcome is a foregone conclusion.
How Bill adapts to his new poverty remains to be
20 June 2015
Poisoning the guests: one of them comments
“PLASTIC MSG CRACKERS AT WESTCARE + MAG.
ASS. CTR Whitemore Square last couple of weeks
“For the past week or so, both these places have been providing mountains of
plastic packages, with plastic trays holding non-nutritional thin crackers that
contain MSG and other MSG type glutamates in the 620 food additive category.
MSG is categorised as a NEUROTOXIN by medical authorities in the know.
“I/We just wonder if this is part of some homeless/low income/no income control
plot, perhaps to cause these folks to become brain-dead or disoriented, such
that they move from the burdensome caste/class into the non-burdensome dead or
totally dysfunctional caste/class. Or to prevent these folks from being
effective SENSITIVE People and more of "objects" that can be
manipulated by the MONOPOLIST CONTROL FREAKS.
“Strange, these same effete plastic crackers are showing up at BOTH places in
the same time frame and in such horribly large numbers...
“AND STAFF at the places are not warning anyone coming along that they are
laced with MSG for free...
“WHILE COMPLETELY OMITTING ANY PROVISION OF HEALTHY FOOD SUCH AS BREAD FRUIT
“WE SEE THE OZHARVEST VAN PULL UP AT WESTCARE BUT THERE IS NO SUBSTANTIVE
PROVISION OF GOOD FOOD LIKE BEFORE.
“Are the Do-Gooders being the willing or unwilling servants of the Control
Freaks and their methods to control the poor with horrible food mind-control
additives such as MSG ?
Post Script one week later: “The Crackers had 627
disodium guanylate and 631 disodium inosinate NOT pure MSG as I
wrote... Yes these are listed as neurotoxin flavour enhancers
that act with synergy to MSG
20 June 2015
More trouble for the Therapy Cat
The Uniting Care Glenelg Board met at 7:30pm on
Tuesday, 15 June and discussed Piano Teacher Wayne’s Therapy Cat.
According to a semi-reliable source, they have
decided to ban Wayne’s $3000 cat from the dining room.
19 June 2015
The man sitting and eating a meal in the corner
of the dining room at the Magdalene Centre on Saturday evening said he was from
Adelaide, and had slept six and a half months on a bench outside the bus
He launched into homeless-style anecdotes before
I could ask him questions about himself.
Later, retracing our conversation in which he
had controlled the narrative, I realised that he had positioned himself where
he could observe the room, the serving counter and both doors without obstruction.
He avoided saying anything about himself by expertly
telling stories that precluded personal questions. His eyes and facial skin lacked
that wind-blown or bloodshot appearance that would have come from six months sleeping
outside. He was well groomed and his quiet movements resembled someone
physically fit and alert yet well rested.
Nor had I seen him at the Magdalene Centre
previously, along with another dozen newcomers.
Were we witnessing the male graduating class
from the police academy, or UniSA social work students getting some practice?
One truth is that nothing is clear in the
Byzantine Adelaide CBD destitution scene.
19 June 2015
There is a free barbecue of eggs and sausages
and bread at Hurtle Square each Saturday at 8:30am. If it is raining, or looks
like rain, then it will be around the corner at the Christadelphian Temple at 105
Halifax Street, Adelaide. “Look for the crowd,” Mortgage Man told me.
19 June 2015
“Mortgage Man”, who lives on welfare and is
having difficulty keeping his house, told me that on each third Sunday of the
month the Lions Club does a barbecue alongside Fred’s Van at Gawler Place at
Fred’s Van is across the road from the Pilgrim
Church Sunday meal at 5:30pm and good insurance in case the Pilgrim meal is rubbish.
19 June 2015
St Bede’s News
“R” held an upraised chair over someone’s head until Jill
and the priest patted him on the shoulder and calmed him down. “R” can’t talk
or hear and struggles to communicate with others so raising the chair was his
substitute for words.On a good day
everyone likes him and he is happy. On other days he tells us how he is feeling
by holding a finger of each hand over his head: the devil.
Semaphore Rotary is moving closer to donating a billiard
table. And when the question was discussed of St Bede’s buying either a
dartboard or a Bingo game, the unanimous vote was Bingo. That prompted someone
to ask, “What is the most used word in a church. The answer was “Bingo”.
A wheel seized up on the new ping pong table.
There were plenty of offers from guests to help set up
the tables for the September trash and treasure in the St Bede's car park. Winter
vegetables are being planted in the communal garden. Malcolm has begun cleaning
up the smoking area after the morning breakfasts.
A man who lives outside is catching a plane to Western
Australia tomorrow where he hopes to work on a cattle station.
Bruno was up to his old tricks of leaving a trail of
dirty clothing along the floor as he put on fresh garments from the free used
One worthy volunteer is back after his foot surgery. He’s wearing a “moon
boot” and has been told not to put pressure on it for six weeks, but is back in
the kitchen washing dishes and moving about. How lucky St Bede’s is to have
someone like this.
And of all the hoo-ha over Wayne’s Therapy Cat, the
former Minister of Housing and current dishwasher said, “What are we there
for?” He was a good politician and now he’s a wise retired
politician. 19 June 2015
A man living outside sprayed himself with perfume
then cavorted about in a girlish manner for twenty minutes in front of diners
at the Salvation Army in Pirie Street yesterday evening. He also talked in a
homosexual manner and bent his wrists. That brought on a horrible conversation
at nearby tables about “Gays” in Veale Gardens paying homeless people for
An Aboriginal woman claimed she had been in the
hall since it opened, but hadn’t been served. Others said she had just arrived.
Two volunteers told her about Fred’s Van. She spat on the floor then walked out.
Jason Luther Curtis was a major topic of
conversation. He used to sleep on the verandah of the Salvation Army, and has
been charged with the murder of Rose-Marie Sheehy.
Salvation Army Grandma Margaret was in fine form.
She has a strong sense of humour. One has to admire her.
A new older woman was serving coffee. She has
thin legs, a thin body, good facial skin, uses a bit too much make-up, and did
a fine job of dealing with impatient, ungrateful and demanding clients like
myself. Afterwards, she shamed us horribly when she packed up the tables. Where
does the Army get such quality volunteers?
18 June 2015
Update and correction on Grinder
A source from WestCare says that Grinder was
locked up by police after allegedly punching an old man on Thursday at WestCare.
The man’s name is Michael and he is a client rather than an employee as stated
This is the second altercation for Grinder at
WestCare this week. He was banned by police from the CBD after the first
Grinder suffers diabolical health problems said
to include melanoma with a prognosis of three months to live. Grinder is understandably in a tormented state
of mind.He camps alongside the Torrens
River though it isn’t clear if he is in custody at present or not.
19 June 2015
“It’s a disgrace.”
Phil, the Celebrity Can Collector put down his
striped bags and calls me across Hindley
Street to his rubbish bin. “It’s a disgrace,” he says, “how they’re using that
He tells me that it started with Don Dunstan’s
fetish for 13-year-old boys at McNally’s, along with the paedophile actions of
the brother of former Attorney-General Robin Milhouse.
Phil was taken from his mother as a child then
put into the Glandore Boys Home. This was where a few years later a social
worker handed 13-year-old Ki Meekins to paedophile Peter Leith, who took the
boy to the Gold Coast where he and Rick Marshal raped him until his anus bled.
Phil was luckier than most, he says, and
remembers only being sent to the Children’s Hospital where they stuck
“toothpicks through my testicles”.
But today, on Hindley Street, there isn’t a
trace of colour on Phil’s face. He’s white-faced with anger, and that trademark
ironic gleam has disappeared from his eyes. He wears a shirt that says, “Abused
children, no justice.”
Phil says it’s a disgrace Jay Weatherill is
using the death of four-year-old Chloe Valentine for his own political
purposes. He adds that Weatherill was the education minister when a girl was
raped at an Adelaide primary school and the matter was covered up by the
education department and FamiliesSA.
“Put that on the internet,” he says, picking up
his bulging striped bags as he walks toward Morphett Street to his next bin.
18 June 2015
“They have successfully created an illusion. Our
lives are governed by illusions...and I am an invisible non-entity within their
from a mural in the back laneway at Mary
Magdalene Centre in Moore Street, Adelaide 18 June 2015
St Bede’s Big Meeting
The debate over Piano Teacher Wayne bringing his cat to
St Bede’s was brought to a compromise this morning after a meeting full of
The sentiment was that most people from the Supported
Residential Facilities (SRF) didn’t want Wayne’s Therapy Cat in the dining
area, particularly not on the tables. Nor do the volunteers who cook and serve
The parish priest said he was being pressured by the
Adelaide Diocese because Wayne had phoned them; the preacher didn’t say Wayne
had “pulled strings”, but that seems to be the case. The priest explained that Wayne’s Therapy Cat was a
special breed that tolerates being on a leash. When one of the most hard
working volunteers yelled in objection, the preacher swore and strode quickly
into his office. He slammed the door so hard it bounced back open so he came
out and slammed it again.
A woman guest from Semaphore Lodge began crying.
Ros suggested a compromise where Wayne could bring his cat through the
back of the hall, then through the back of the dining area, and leave his
Therapy Cat in the locked preacher’s office. Damien has always been tolerant of
the Therapy Cat and threw the meeting towards Ros’s compromise. Even the
volunteer who works as if he’s getting eighty dollars an hour said he didn’t
agree with it, but would abide by the decision of the meeting. That was a
miracle. The meeting concluded with a sadness that is rarely found at St Bedes.
Wayne’s $3000 Therapy Cat might be good for him, but for
others it is the “un-Therapy Cat”.
18 June 2015
How corrupt cartels infiltrate
A veteran employee for the Department of Corrections
told me how such incredible amounts of money are spent on 14-year-old juvenile male
prisoners. She said the psychologist and psychiatrists and support workers are a
waste of money because nothing changes.
Our conversation was interrupted so I didn’t get a
chance to tell her about the Job Network where the “unemployed being helped” illusion
allowed fraudsters to grab government money behind the smokescreen of silly
repetitive courses disguised as employment training.
17 June 2015
A man in Semaphore pays $50 a week rent for a room
without gas, electricity or water. He must leave the property at 7:30am and is
allowed back at 4:30pm.
He is medicated on psychiatric drugs and is friends
with people who live in Semaphore’s Supported Residential Facilities.
The man is the son of a highly paid Telstra executive,
now retired. The son is nominally wealthy, but because of his lack of control with
money anything that will come his way will never be his to spend. So he lives
in his no-electricity accommodation.
Most of the above has been confirmed by a third party.
17 June 2015
An anonymous contributor writes:
“It's interesting that you are prepared to
put your hand out and welcome all you can get from the ones that devote their
lives trying to help others. Clearly your agenda is to share with others the
people who have rubbed you the wrong way. Very easy to put words on paper
without showing a face isn't it?
“You use the lives of these vulnerable people as amusing characters in a script
for your pantomime, in essence doing what you accuse others of and banking in
on the self gratification of it all.
“Newsflash go get yourself a job, or better still- get off your own backside
and start helping others... Im sure the people that you are so happy to report
on actually have their own families and friends that are missing them because
they spend a majority of their time/ lives trying to help people that for
whatever reason need help. People like you apparently.
Clearly the only self appointed judge here is you.
“There is no place for moles like you amongst us. You are a disgrace. Quote
that. I dare you.”
Response from editor of this website:
This website is the product of a dozen
contributors, most of whom have been established in the homeless scene for decades.
As to ridiculing the underclass, this is
what nearly everyone does to each other in the homeless scene. It is our way of
deflecting from a certain misery, but we don’t see ourselves as the welfare
industry portrays us, as vulnerable desperate people needing help; we see
ourselves as normal humans.
You would have noticed that those living
outside are praised in these pages: this is genuine respect that I have for
them, and also self-respect for myself after having lived many years outside.
This website is a historical document for
future generations, and sits alone amongst expensive promotional sites full of
self-praise, and which are funded by wealthy welfare organisations.
As the editor, I often amend or delete
unfair or inaccurate sections upon request. However, I am hard on those who
work for salaries in the welfare industry and who use their positions to
consciously or unwittingly harm my peer group.
As to being anonymous, this is for
protection. The homeless scene can be a physically dangerous environment. And I
don’t have the protection of a secretary, or an office door, or a big
But thanks for your critical and thought
The meal at the Salvation Army in Pirie Street
two days ago was described by The Ghost Who Walks as inedible. Piano Player
Wayne disagreed and wolfed down his plate plus that left untouched by The
Ghost, who quickly hoofed it over to the Mary Magdalene Centre.
Wayne says that Centrelink is backing him for
the Disability Support Payment pension after he vomited on one of their office
Army Royalty Jo Hodge told Wayne he had to keep
his Therapy Cat in a locked room so the $3000 creature went into the empty
Staff serving the coffee and meals included a
retired Royal Australian Air Force pilot related to Alex who works for a legal
firm and also volunteers with the Salvation Army. The retired pilot is aged
about 25 and looking for a second career. He’s gone from flying huge planes to
packing up the tables for us souls of the underclass. One of the privileges of
being in the derelict scene is the variety of people we encounter: from Grinder
on the streets to the R.A.A.F. pilot.
Others volunteers on Saturday included two
doctors, two psychologists and a trainee nurse. “The Mask” was disappointed
when they left at 8:00pm. He said, “Awe, the girls are leaving.” The Mask is
the newest member of the Crony Gang.
Last week, the advance guard of the Crony Gang
was suspected of raiding a private stash of food kept in old Grandma Margaret's
special box. The Gang wasn’t too smart in choosing their lookout man as he is
Sparkles sat crying in a chair for ten minutes
after discovering that Anthony has died. “Another one,” she said.
The ping pong table was whisked away early after
a player banged his bat on the edge of the table so loud it could be heard from
across Pirie Street. He might have been having a seizure as he didn’t seem to
understand that something wasn’t right.
The “Rest Area” room was opened early. Women
slept on mattresses on one side of the room and men on the other. A guard sits
with a clipboard outside the door.
Lorraine and Ajay, looking like fashion
celebrities, left quite early. While the rest of us returned back to our
comfortable accommodation, they were like soldiers going into battle as they
returned to their cold sparse camp somewhere on the edge of the CBD.
Three police officers barged in at 1:00am when a
volunteer unwittingly opened the door for them. He was later told by the Army
man in charge that in future a senior staff member should be called before the
door is opened to the police, as the building is a “safe haven” at night.
Pirie Street Riot is in crisis after the drummer
stormed out. After having lived lives of being treated like nobodies, the
performers are finding it difficult suddenly to find themselves in the
Most of the singers have resigned and joined the
popular choir, but with effort Pirie Street Riot should be back in action.
Bob the QuizMaster is still gallivanting around
the Mediterranean with his missus. Numbers drop more quickly after the meal
without him here. He is both an entertainer and a positive influence, and no
15 June 2015
Mary Magdalene Church
Moore Street, Adelaide Saturday evening meal 6:00 - 7:30pm
There were seats available inside while outside
getting a place to sit down was difficult in the windless warm winter evening.
Patrick, the Vietnamese-Australian lawyer, watched the scene like a security
guard whilst Sparkles performed at her manipulative best.
She disclosed that Bluey’s real name wasn’t
Bluey; it is Cactus Jack. She called one volunteer Concordia Boy. He was with a
group of girls from Concordia College. She reserved her chronic anger for the
old German man on a walking frame who is an enemy of The Ghost Who Walks. The
reason for her antagonism wasn’t clear.
There were at least a dozen new guests at the
Magdalene Centre each of whom I’ve never seen before. From under the portable
gazebo one of the homeless people was coughing, a deep painful throat cough.
The Captain is becoming redder and redder in the face while Lebanese Peter from
Spain has such trouble walking that he leans against any available wall for
In the dining room, a man from Davoren Park said
he’d been sleeping on a bench outside the bus station for six and a half
Grinder was out in the laneway. He camps in the
Parklands. He said he’d been barred from the CBD after a fight at WestCare. He
is easy to get along with as long as one shows him the respect he deserves.
The meal was beef stroganoff, roast beef and
gravy, roast potatoes, boiled carrots and peas, a wonderfully fresh dark green
leaf salad with cherry tomatoes and salad dressing, bread with margarine, and
salt and pepper. Desert was apple crumble, cake, ice-cream, and canned mixed
fruit thrown on top of each other. There was tea and coffee delivered to those
outside though the people inside had to make their own.
James with his raspy voice does a fantastic job
organising the evening. He is the stable terminal amongst the chaos of the
volunteers who bring the food.
There is also a free book counter.
14 June 2015
Orders from above
The Reverend Peter Sandeman, CEO of Anglicare,
has passed down a request that the unsafe ramps at two Anglicare administered
retirement units in Elizabeth be made safe. The two residents are elderly women
with serious mobility issues. (They’re buggered).
Rude Rhonda has been assigned to ensure the
ramps are made safe. This column will keep readers informed of the progress.
14 June 2015
Red Tape Rape
“The American” gave the Celebrity Can Collector
a copy of Ki Meekins’s book, “Red Tape Rape”, the story about his childhood of
being passed from paedophile to paedophile, including Rick Marshal and Peter
Leith, via the South Australian government’s child welfare system.
“The Celebrity”, like Ki Meekins, was taken from
his mother and put in the Glandore Boys Home, from where the paedophiles sourced
their six and eight-year-old boys.
“The Celebrity” praised Ted Mulligan for conducting
the sex abuse inquiry.
14 June 2015
Everyone is happy
An old man told me that men have been known to
drop off their girlfriends at the end of the street where Catherine House
women’s shelter is located.
The “battered” woman’s arrival has either been
pre-arranged with a social worker or is simply the result of a “desperate”
Once inside, the woman tells a terrifying story
of being threatened and tormented and beaten by her ex-boyfriend. She is protected
from further abuse at Catherine House while social workers arrange to find her a
house or unit where she will be safe from the nasty man. They arrange free
furniture, bond and rent in advance, food vouchers, and follow-up support until
the unfortunate woman is “back on her feet”.
The results are positive. The woman is happy
with her life, starting a TAFE course, and the genuinely sincere feminists are satisfied
for the job well done. Even the welfare bureaucrats see the case as a positive
Even better, one day when the female support
worker arrives at the woman’s house, she discovers her client has at last found
the ideal man who will provide continuous support and protection, particularly
from the battered woman’s ex-boyfriend. The new man is polite and civilised,
but the support worker can’t but help notice that he uncannily resembles the
appearance of the previous bad boyfriend.
14 June 2015
Grandma makes a boo-boo
An incident told by The American occurred when a
volunteer offered elderly yeast buns enclosed in clear wrap to his table. These
soggy buns are notoriously difficult to give away, but when another man at the
table took two, old Grandma Margaret , who had been hovering nearby, lunged forward
as if grabbing them back, and in a raised and slightly shrill voice shouted,
“Just one.” The man handed one back, but scowled inwardly.
Little did Grandma know that the man in
question suffered severe physical trauma in a car smash as a child that changed
the course of his life. Little did she know that he has worked over a decade as
an unpaid volunteer in a facility for those with end-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
Little did she know that he sacrifices part of his Disability Support Pension
each month to finance eye surgery in Africa. Little did she know that he is not
one of the greedy people who grab more than they need. Little did she know that
he is not a drug addict, criminal or alcoholic, but an upstanding citizen who
visits the Salvation Army as a social event.
Grandma is also an upstanding citizen
of the same calibre, but should watch more carefully before applying her sense
of equity. It is a tough life doing good.
14 June 2015
Proper etiquette when applying
for a food voucher
Government funded social workers are a strange
breed of humanity so when applying for “emergency assistance” it is important
to respect their bizarre ways. Here are some basic requisites that will allow
the social worker to retain her feeling of being in control.
Always say you’re terrified of physical
violence. Always use the latest welfare catchphrase of the day. (Currently, it
is “domestic violence” for females and “abuse” for males.) Always badmouth your
family then say it wasn’t really their fault because it was generational. (Don’t
use the word “generational”.) Always say you can’t sleep well and seem to be
tormented by thoughts of self-harm.
Always say you wake up during the night and your
heart is pounding and you’re short of breath. Always says you’re hungry and
have lost weight (even if you weigh 130 kilograms). Always say you haven’t any
money. Always say you were robbed. Always sniff the air then ask the social
worker how often she has a shower.
Always arrive with a mental list of your medical
ailments. Always say you were thinking of robbing people to buy food, but
resisted the urge. Always say you’ve got a gambling problem. Always say you
have been threatened by bad men. (Don’t use the words “bad men”.)
Always ask the social worker if she is recording
your conversation. Always say your teeth hurt. Always pour red food colouring
in your mouth before an interview. Always lean forward over the desk and make
farting sounds with your mouth whenever the social worker begins speaking. Always
say your feet hurt. Always have a mild coughing fit. Always grasp your chest as
if having a heart attack. Always fall on the floor and make your face go red. (Always
make sure the chair falls over with you.) Always swear then apologise.
Always pull out a harmonica then after a few
squeaky notes ask the social worker for a dollar. Always make your body shake
wildly and then claim there is nothing wrong with you. Always jump up and down
when you’re talking. Always snort when you laugh and if you have dentures spit
them out onto the table.
13 June 2015
Filthy showers and toilets at WestCare
Twenty years ago I offered to clean the men’s
showers at WestCare. Management attitude to this offer was, “if you must”. They
wouldn’t even provide proper cleaning materials, as they didn’t care if the
ablution room was clean or dirty: they didn’t use it.
And nothing has changed. The towels still stink
from inadequate washing; one of the two washing machines has been broken since
February. There isn’t an electric drier or adequate lines for clients to dry
their clothing, even on a summer day. Yet Baptist Care can afford to construct
a huge building on the site. Isn’t this a sign that their priorities are
somewhere else and not with the cleanliness and health of the people they’re
being paid to help?
13 June 2015
The Quiet Man of Glenelg
He adopts a modest profile dressed in
earthen-coloured clothing. He says little, but listens attentively and
maintains eye contact with others. He doesn’t stand out at any free food venue
or homeless joint.
At night, up until midnight or later, he walks the coastline from West Beach
to Glenelg, and using his street sense locates people sleeping outside, and
offers hygiene packs and blankets.
Numbers drop during winter as people move closer
to the city to escape the fierce ocean winds, but there are still those
sleeping wherever they find a windbreak and protection from the rain.
12 June 2015
Stumbling Upon Inequality 2
By chance, in a conversation with a 68-year-old
nearly blind woman living in a group of retirement units in Elizabeth, she
happened to tell me that she had a financial counselor.
She takes half an hour to drag her rubbish bins
to the street due to exhaustion and dizziness. She has had open heart surgery,
and has diabetes and arthritis to the point that she can’t pick up anything
that falls to the ground.
She won’t ask for help, and it was only by chance
that a “Guide Dogs for the Blind” woman discovered that her electricity had
been cut off for ten days.
12 June 2015
Last night at the soup kitchens
Standing in the darkness of the queue at
Hindmarsh Square, waiting for the Jasmine Restaurant cooks to cross Grenfell
Street with their cardboard boxes full of plastic containers of rice and
chicken tandoori, I couldn’t help but notice that many of the patrons suffer
physical disabilities that appear to have originated from birth. Practically no
one appeared “undeserving” nor were any drunks present; no one appeared
psychotic; no one appeared affected by drugs.
When the food was distributed the social scene
evaporated, as all but a few left because the Adelaide City Council has removed
most of the seating to discourage people from congregating in the park.
Over at Hurtle Square, the Adelaide Day Centre
winter soup van was late. Beck and her entourage were waiting with Mary Jane dressed
in a dog’s coat, and Google wrapped up in what looked like a baby blanket. They
left before the van arrived so they could make it in time for the more
important Fred’s Van.
When the soup van did arrive, Trock complained
the vegetable soup was burnt and he’d never go there again. The man who lives
opposite the Magdalene Centre laughed and said he’d heard that so many times.
He said nearly everyone comes back.
Sultana slice, salt and pepper, white bread, and
homemade rocky road were served with four varieties of soup, which was drunk
from cups while we stood up in the darkness. (The Adelaide City Council has
removed seating to discourage homeless-style people, including those from Crazy
Cottage and Lazy Cottage, from using the park, even in the daytime.)
We got to Fred’s Van late when they were handing
out small bottles of flavoured milk. Beck’s entourage, who live outside, got
plenty so the dogs will be drinking iced coffee today.
A photographer and journalist from the Sunday
Mail newspaper were taking pictures of a man who had agreed to pose. He might
have thought it was going to be a quick photograph, but half an hour later they
were still moving him about: placing a blanket over his shoulders, making him
bow his head, tilt his eyes upward as if looking at God, manipulate his body
into a subdued position, put a “homeless lamb” expression on his face and a
plate of food in his hand. It was a typical, but not accurate portrayal by the
media of people who visit soup kitchens.
12 June 2015
Spare Meals Adelaide
I was hanging about in the darkness outside the
St Vincent de Paul building near the Elizabeth railway station, waiting for
Fred’s Van to open. But the lights were out and the gates locked.
It turned out that Elizabeth Fred’s Van has shut
down for eight weeks, but I didn’t see a notice on the front gate advising of
Around the corner in front of the Beaurepaires
building three women were unloading tables from a huge delivery van. After
thirty minutes, groups of women and children began collecting bread, fruit,
sugar, rice, Peckish rice crackers, cheese and other food from the tables. None
of them were from the Fred’s Van crowd.
A woman named Emma said they were from “Spare
Meals Adelaide” and that one joined their club via Facebook. When they’re in a
particular area they send a Facebook message to people who live there.
Spare Meals Australia seems to be a women’s
activity because the oldest male there was about 15. They still offered me
12 June 2015
Another Fred’s Van re-enactment at the Casino
Savoury Tuesday at the Sky City Casino came to an
unsavoury end as the pies and sausage rolls were depleted before closing time
at 2:00pm. Those aggrieved souls who decided to drown their sorrows in coffee
or tea were greeted by staff with optimistic smiles offering, “black tea, black
coffee,” as they’d also run out of milk, and couldn’t be bothered getting a new
supply fifty metres distance. Staff packed up the tables early and disappeared
before having to deal with complaints.
10 June 2015
Three police vehicles with lights turned off
were parked amongst the trees near the corner of Sir Lewis Cohen Avenue and
Greenhill Road in the South Parklands on Tuesday evening. The area is marked
with a “No Camping” sign also translated into an Aboriginal language.
At the same time, a police car and ambulance
were parked on South Terrace as two officers went into the darkness of a section
A man living outside says there are many
assaults, illnesses and even deaths, the details of which aren’t provided by
police to the media.
10 June 2015
Short List of free no-trap venues
Adelaide Day Centre Soup Van at Hurtle Square
and Whitmore Square. Free.
Fred’s Van at Gawler Place and at multiple
venues across Adelaide. Free.
Anglicare Elizabeth Food Barn, Elizabeth. Free.
Holy Cross Church Sunday meal at Elizabeth Food
Barn. 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month. Free.
WestCare free morning toast and tea, and their
Hutt Street Centre free breakfast and their
morning tea, but not lunch as they compulsorily collect personal data from
Salvation Army evening meals on Wednesday and
Jasmine Restaurant meal on the grass at
Hindmarsh Square. Free.
Chat and Chew Port Adelaide. Free.
St Bedes Drop-in Centre, Semaphore. Free
Mary’s Kitchen, Glenelg. Free.
Pilgrim Church Sunday meal. Free.
Pilgrim Church free coffee shop at back of
Free bread rack at Magdalene Centre at Whitmore
No-trap means they don’t collect and store personal
data of guests. It also means they don’t try to grab you into their religion.
10 June 2015
your golden staph?" the Vitamin Derelict heard a man ask another in the
men's shower room at Hutt Street Centre. "That's why I wear thongs,"
the Derelict told a group of men at the Salvation Army.
The art and science of forgiving
A woman at Magdalene Centre said she'd forgiven her boyfriend
for killing two of her unborn children. She said it was a relief and that
thoughts of revenge hurt the hater as much as the hated. 8 June 2015
at Fred's Van
were asking each diner at Fred's Van separately if they'd seen a man about
172cm (5'8") tall with a tattoo on his face. 8
Argument at St Luke's
The cook yelled at another man on Sunday evening
saying the pork supplied to him was full of bones. One of them slammed a door as he left the
room. The other chased him saying, “We can talk about it.”
The Ghost Who Walks said the main feature of the
meal was rough chunks of pork with apple sauce plus what he called “chitling”.
He said there were eight or ten derros there plus 20 or 30 church people. He
called these others, “church derros”.
8 June 2015
Rose-Marie Sheehy’s ex-boyfriend wears a tormented
appearance these days. If her death made hundreds us
who hardly knew her feel depressed then for him it is of a higher
magnitude of torment. He has courage and integrity not to flee the scene.
8 June 2015
The noose tightens Another nasty surveillance bridge has been crossed
with the federal government requiring that clients of Centrelink must log into
Centrelink first encouraged clients to access
their personal files on-line as a positive alternative to visiting or phoning Centrelink
offices. To discourage resistance to this change, office staff served other
clients first if a person could theoretically get the information on-line.
Then, when calling them to the counter would say their name softly then walk
away, or shout loudly repeatedly like calling a dog, then whistle, then pat the
person on the shoulder.
To add insult to injury, either C.E.O. Hank
Jongan or the Minister’s budgeting department made the call-centre nearly
impossible to use. And letters took weeks before they were acted on. And the
website was designed to make email communication with Centrelink nearly
But over time Centrelink has got most people using
the password-protected on-line access. Instead of leaving it at that they’ve
now cancelled access to the Centrelink website unless one signs up with
my.gov.au, which accesses multiple government departments. This leaves a
citizen’s personal information even more vulnerable to hackers.
And to add insult to injury, the government says
that they will send a text message whenever they send an electronic letter,
even if it is government junk mail.
This also means an electronic trail is left of
one’s use of my.gov.au. This trail is not simply accessible to the government,
but to Microsoft, Google and who knows who else.
And if a client can access their personal files
in multiple government departments with a single password, just imagine what
certain bureaucrats can do. And their access will be to secret files about
clients, files that the clients don’t have access to.
As the government increasingly surveils us, it
becomes more secretive itself with no client face-to-face contact with
bureaucrats, with employees who use first names only, work from secret
addresses, and hide behind locked doors and plexiglass screens.
Is this social evolution or devolution?
8 June 2015
Holy Cross Church Elizabeth
Free Meal 6:00 - 6:45pm, 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month Anglicare Elizabeth Food Barn (entry through back door) Elizabeth Way (across from the police station) Elizabeth
These were my kind of people hanging about in the
darkness behind the Elizabeth Mission Food Barn. Their eyes had that wary
alertness of the underclass yet their bodies moved about haphazardly and then
stopped as if heeding an unseen command, one man freezing in the middle of the
A car moved slowly by us as the driver asked a
question. “Next week,” a voice from the darkness answered, and the driver drove
off in a wake of hilarious laughter.
A band inside was singing ‘Pub with no beer’ as a
stocky woman opened the door with a greeting, and 20 guests moved indifferently
into the famous Food Barn. One of the bandsmen said they were auditioning for
the Grenville Centre. A few locals got the joke.
There was a table with the now mandatory beanies and
scarves in bright children’s colours. Metal cutlery lay on serviettes in front
of each chair. A woman gave two beanies to a foreign bald man and his two sons.
Lost in myself, a fellow guest tapped my shoulder, asking if I wanted a drink.
The curtains were filthy; cobwebs and layers of soot
covered the whitewashed bricks; and there was that washing machine and clothing
drier tacked against the dirty inner wall. But the room radiated an aura of domestic
warmth enhanced by the kitchen stoves.
The guests and staff appeared as if characters in
one of Carson McCullers’ novels such as “The heart is a lonely hunter”. We seemed sad, tired, worn out yet a peculiar kindness
permeated the air, and in a strange way, we were like survivors of a crash,
optimistic that help was at hand.
The two band members with their electric guitars
sang about crying. Everything was about crying in their world.
The meal was mashed potatoes, sausages in a sauce,
mixed boiled vegetables with salt and pepper. “I should’ve brought me hot
sauce,” one woman complained in a pleasant way. Later, she pointed her spoon, and
rousing me from my introspection, said that desert was being served. This was
an apricot slice with custard.
Two drunks sang along with band. It was yet another
song about crying. After missing the lyrics the drunks were reduced to making repetitive
inarticulate sounds before breaking into laughter.
The woman behind the counter pouring a coffee for me
said as she held her arms across the pots of food, “We do it all ourselves.” She
added that next time they were having homemade soup, and pointed to another
woman sitting with a guest. “She makes it.”
As I left through the back door the bandsmen were
singing, “Crying in the rain.”
This was Elizabeth at its saddest, and its most
7 June 2015
Sleeping Room Open
The Benson room at the Salvation Army in
Pirie Street opened last night with a dozen mattresses and blankets laid on the
carpeted floor. For warmth people were required to bring their own bedding.
An elderly woman was the guard and,
according to one person, the sleepers are required to sign a paper when they
arise to use the lavatory. The shower has a sign saying not to use it for
Guests are allowed to sleep until 7:30am
when toast and tea will be served.
John the Baptist looked as if he was
staying the night. The sleeping gear on the verandah disappeared for Market Day
and hasn’t returned.
The Benson room is open for sleeping only
on Saturday nights, allowing people to pay off some of their sleep debt. 7 June 2015
If you have any ideas of other ways that I can get our nearly 800 strong
community to support Adelaide's homeless, please let me know :)
You might consider, Bridie, plastic Corflute
sheeting from old election posters that offer excellent insulation from ground
chill. Camouflage-coloured plastic tarps that wrap around all four sides of a
bed, mosquito repellent, torches, string, synthetic quilts with covers, antiseptic
cream, small fuel stoves with pot, tea, coffee, milk, sugar, carry bags (but
not those striped ‘derelict’ bags). Small earthen-coloured tents that set up by themselves might be helpful.
kindness as an equal to someone obviously alone and unhappy and living outside
might be remembered by that person for the next fifty years. Perhaps sharing a
flask of coffee. Perhaps nothing more. Fear is the primary emotion of those
everyone living in the Parklands suffers sleep deprivation. That’s why
libraries make their seating as uncomfortable and visible as possible. Nights
can be fraught with human disturbances, guard dogs, rain, cold and mosquitoes
and it is difficult to sleep during the day, anywhere. Anything that will aid
adequate sleep is important.
and easily accessible storage is needed. One of the first experiences of people
living outside is having their belongings stolen or confiscated by authorities.
material wrapped in Ziploc bags containing addresses of doctors like the Brian Burdekin Clinic or Nunkuwarrin Yunti Clinic might be helpful. It is crucial for anyone providing this type of
information to know exactly what services are offered and to whom, and what are
not. Sending people on false trails is a cruel act so to know where someone
with I.D. can go for various services is crucial. For example: knowing the
difference between the clientele served by the dental clinic at the Common
Ground building in Light Square, and by the Dental Hospital, is important.
What not to offer: ill-fitting and silly looking
used clothing, generic government pamphlets listing “Homeless services”, bags
of out-of-date sugary food, useless knick-knacks or anything that takes up unnecessary space.
What not to do: Never use people living outside
as training models for your colleagues, children or students. Never invite them
to inappropriate venues. We never forget this form of humiliation. And don't ask to take photographs. (This is like asking for sex with a stranger after a casual conversation.) And don't tell too many people about a person's secret camp.
And remember, there are many “homeless
agencies” yet relatively few people living outside. This means that most of
these so-called “helping agencies” are fraudsters raking off donations and
keeping government grants for themselves.
7 June 2015
Latest Magic Words
Truth, a good story, a lie: none of the above has
as much currency in the welfare world as the latest buzz words or the latest cliché.
The magic words, “Sexual abuse”, have been a winner
for nearly a generation, and claiming to be a victim has become virtually
mandatory when begging for food vouchers or, in the case of welfare
bureaucrats, applying for government grants.
But it applies only to a small percentage of the
population, and the welfare industry needs to expand like a phone manufacturer
needing to introduce the latest model. And the words, “sexual abuse”, have become
politicised, and no longer stimulate social workers to pass over the money.
The new magic words are “domestic violence”. Can you
hear the cash registers ringing as welfare administrators complete their annual
These two words come with the authority of Swedish
hardcore feminist ideology.
At the homeless street level this means that your
average social worker needs to produce statistics for their next grant
application that show an epidemic of “domestic violence” victims amongst those
applying for food vouchers.
The problem here is that most people living outside
are men, and they will find it difficult to claim domestic violence status, and
thus housing and money will flow to women. But men will adapt, and soon we’ll
have big brutes crying to social workers that they've been the victims of domestic violence at the hands of their tiny girlfriends.
6 June 2015
Dirty towel story
On 24 May, Hutt Street Centre appealed to
readers of their Facebook page for donations of towels. Within ten days they
were appealing to readers to stop donating towels because they’d received
5 June 2015
Market Day Salvation Army
5 June 2015
Mrs Judith Telstra got the No. 1 spot in the
queue this morning. She waited over two hours until the front doors opened at
There was a big crowd, but even they didn’t get through all the food available.
The Saturday free food room was still crammed when everyone had gone. Much of
the two pallets of oranges were left, and the volunteers had been desperate to
get rid of the mandarins.
Much of the remaining food will go to a women’s
refuge, while the rest will be drip-fed to Saturday evening guests over the
next four weeks.
There was a harsh incident between a man and
Margaret B. The man was sitting drinking coffee when Margaret walked up to him. He thought she’d come over to poke through his bags and
demand that some items be returned, but Margaret simply asked why his friends
were not at the Market Day.
He stood up and told her: “They don’t come here because they don’t like you; they hate you.” Margaret
stood there for a moment then disappeared, and made herself scarce for the next
hour. She reappeared at one point to give colouring pens and paper to five children who came in with their mother.
Margaret doesn’t understand that as a powerful
authority figure within the Army her smallest criticism reaches the guests like
a sledge hammer. Such power must be administered with a precision not necessary
from those without power.Neither does she understand that standing on the
verandah two months previously, and demanding from ‘The Man from Peterborough’,
who was out on Pirie Street, that he return three packets of iced tea, was an
unconsciously cruel act. Amazingly, he hasn’t any antagonism with her, but for
others with a history of humiliation, Margaret crossed a line.
Yet, in the balance, Margaret B. is a patroness who
rummages through clothing then takes a particular item to someone she thinks
would like it. And when it comes to cleaning up, Margaret, at an age when others
are in nursing homes, throws her shoulder into the task.
5 June 2015
A man with a grey-black beard was trying to
steal coffee and tea from behind the counter at the Salvation Army in Pirie Street
two weeks ago. Upon realising he was being observed, he moved out of eyesight
into the seclusion of the unattended coffee machine area.
Barista James Allan was outside on the footpath,
but saw through the windows what was happening. He rushed in shouting. The man
said he was putting the milk in the fridge, and that James was a c**t, and that
he should come outside and fight him. James said, “No,” but maintained his
trademark no-blink eye contact. Other Army staff arrived and the man left.
“Meth head,” one Army man commented.
5 June 2015
Job Network Royal Commission?
We’ve heard about the Job Network joints
fiddling the books to fraudulently obtain government money, but we haven’t
heard about the damage done to the lives of unemployed people forced to do
repetitive identical Job Network courses. Many of these consisted of people
with university degrees forced to do primary school tests that lasted for days.
Nor have we heard what happened to those
unwilling participants who resisted them. Nor have we heard of the vicious
responses from Job Network contractors and government bureaucrats like Harry
Douvartzidis, whose career suffered not one problem.
Will the time for a “Royal Commission into
Abuses in the Job Network” every happen?
5 June 2015
Filthy showers at Hutt Street Centre
The Vitamin Derelict told a group from the Crony
Gang that the cleaner at the Hutt Street Centre doesn’t properly clean the
shower cubicles. He said they’re covered with a film of scum and mould, and
haven’t been properly cleaned for years.
The towels are laid on the floor by guests to
avoid transmission of disease then staff overload the washing machines with these
stinking towels and wash them with cold water. They retain the smell of stale
sweat after being washed, and are probably still crawling with microbes.
A fourth man says he’s gotten a
skin disease from the filthy showers. The whole ablution room smells horrible
even after a superficial cleaning. What they need is a complete spray with Exit
Mould and steam cleaning, not simply being slopped over with a mildew-ridden
mop dipped in filthy water.
This institutionally mandated compulsory
filthiness is reminiscent of the English Work Houses from previous centuries,
which were used as punishment for people who couldn’t earn a living. Below the
level of benevolent words from Adelaide welfare workers there often lies a subconscious
need to punish those who use places like the Hutt Street Centre.
So, how easy would it be for management to
divert resources from the silly task of checking each person’s identification
details before serving them their daily $2.50 lunch, to cleaning the showers
4 June 2015
Last Saturday’s free food room at the Salvation Army offered very
little: 5kg bags of onions, chewing gum and bread products. That wasn’t what
disgusted one guest. What disgusted him was Grandma Margaret taking photographs
of people picking up the food. She captured their images for her Facebook page.
She didn’t ask permission to snap away with her powerful Canon SLR camera.
Most guests ― and that is what the Army calls us
― don’t want their picture taken, let alone put on a web page. Margaret was
taking advantage of a vulnerable subculture in a vulnerable position for her
own advantage, and not for the advantage of the guests.
“F**cking disgusting,” one guest told us, and
this person is not easily disgusted. Yet, when the pictures are taken tastefully, and
with permission, and copies tacked onto the main notice board, the result is
cultural enrichment. This is when Margaret shines.
Facebook is what worries people. It is such an
4 June 2015
“It was a shocker”
Sunday evening at St Luke’s, Whitmore Square.
A group from the Crony Gang went to St Luke's
Church hall for the free Sunday meal at 6:00pm, except it wasn’t free, and it didn’t
start until 7:00pm.
Instead of last week’s chops, they were served
sausages with peas and potatoes and packet gravy. There wasn’t any soup or
desert, and it cost three dollars.
The Crony Gang leader said the church people
came out of the church and threw something together. That was it. Nothing
planned for their invited guests who attended in low numbers.
Luckily, the Crony members had rushed to Fred’s
Van at 6:05pm for a pre-St Luke’s appetiser of rice and curry, sausage sandwiches,
cold sandwiches, sugary buns, fruit, and tea and coffee, all free.
Then they strolled over to the Adelaide Day
Centre soup van at Hurtle Square at 6:30pm where the volunteers served four
types of soup: chicken and corn; leak and potatoes; beef and pasta; and pumpkin.
The previous week, the Hurtle Square soup van served homemade rocky road and
homemade cookies. 4 June 2015
Murder of Rose in BusinessSA carpark
Police questioned dead homeless woman Rose-Marie
Sheehy’s ex-boyfriend ***********, who camps at ******* in the Parklands, then
let him go.
Word on the
street is that he had nothing to do with her death. Also, that Rose’s problem
was that she wasn't streetwise; she hadn’t developed that crucial inner radar to detect those predators
that plague the homeless scene.
Aboriginal man told me that Northern Territory people protect their own and
though Rose was white, she was still one of them. He added that a vigilante group
was keepings its eyes open
4 June 2015
Piano Teacher Wayne brings in the artillery
After being resoundingly defeated in Round 1, in his
battle to bring his Therapy Cat into St Bede’s church hall at Semaphore and the
Salvation Army in Pirie Street, Piano Teacher Wayne has struck back and taken
out Round 2.
In a decisive move, he contacted St Bede’s Anglican parish
priest, The Rev. Ken Bechaz, who decided Wayne could bring his Therapy Cat into
the St Bede’s main hall. Rev. Bechaz emailed St Bede’s Anglicare employee,
Jill, and told her to let Wayne bring in the cat. But the volunteers are nearly unanimous in their
objection to allowing the Therapy Cat in the building, and when Wayne entered
with the cat, one of the most dedicated workers walked out, white-faced and in
a blaze of anger.
Wayne took the Therapy Cat from his bag and put it on a
non-food wooden table in the hall, which the volunteers were told they couldn’t
lean against as their backsides might contaminate the surface. All parties concerned are going to check the
legislation. Wayne said he’s heard of one person having a Therapy Shetland Pony,
which prompted a volunteer to talk about bring his own Therapy Horse into the
St Bede’s Hall.
Wayne hasn’t relied totally on the legislation about
Companion Animals to take out Round 2, but says his playing the Pipe Organ at
Christ Church North Adelaide, where the rich and powerful go for funerals and
weddings, is an influencing factor. Wayne says pipe organ players are far and
few between. The guests at the St Bede’s free breakfast are largely
indifferent, but some share the volunteers’ aversion to having the Therapy Cat
into the building. However, at least one person questions what is the problem
with a cat in the hall? Another, Romello, nearly began crying after he saw the
cat, his loneliness taking over.
Currently, Wayne can bring his Therapy Cat into the
hall, but must enter through the outer doors, and not through the dining area,
as he did today.
3 June 2015
Free Coffee and Tea
South West Community Centre Sturt Street, north of Whitmore Square, Adelaide, and around the
corner from St Luke's 9am – 5pm Mon – FriAn employee named Sarah told me anyone can come in for
tea and coffee. The proviso was that they hope a person would become involved
in a group, but this was not compulsory. “Can I bring a group of my derelict
friends here?” I asked. “You can bring your friends here,” she said. Or you can start up your own group, perhaps.
2 June 2015
Free Breakfast at St Bedes
200 Military Road, Semaphore Tuesday and Wednesday 8:30 - 1030am
Hackett was caught smoking in his bedroom at Semaphore Lodge. The manager said
next time it happens he's out. Liam is believed to be in hospital, and also not
happy that the money on the donation tin hasn't been used to buy chocolate ripple
ice-cream. John Baulderstone, 69, is thinking of retiring from work at the
sheltered workshop at Hillcrest. He's going to the doctor this week to have
minor surgery to fix an in-grown toenail. One guest said her daughter lived in
Elizabeth. I expressed my deepest condolences.
Piano Player Wayne phoned Jeremy
Cordeaux on 5AA radio to complain that places like St Bedes discriminate
against him and his Therapy Cat. St Bedes is adamant: no cats in the dining
room, not even passing through and they don't like the idea of a cat on a
Bruno, Bill, sad-and-happy Peter weren't there. Mandeville Supported
Residential Facility is closing down. George is still in hospital since the fire at Mandeville. The
breakfast included middle rasher bacon, scrambled and fried eggs, hash browns,
ham and cheese toasted sandwiches, sliced watermelon, rock melon, grapes,
lamingtons, wafer biscuits, birthday cake, orange juice, cordial, tea, coffee and milo. Four packets of two-minute noodles were given to each diner as
takeaways. "D.I.C." (Drop-in centre) was marked on each plastic
container so no one could take them back to the shop for a refund).
played table tennis so vigorously that one fell down with a bad leg and the
other had to rest from a churned-up stomach. The billiard table lies broken and
idle ever since Bruno sat on it.
Mick the Christian, the retired Minister of Housing, Jill R. from
Anglicare and Dorothy were the overworked volunteers. They work as hard as
or even harder than people working in restaurants. Two volunteers are recovering
from surgery and another has the flu. They need two or three more
volunteers so the ones there won't overwork themselves. At least 35 guests
were served including one strange man who insists each week on burnt toast and
cheese served with tomato sauce in the form of a Swastika.
of the features of the St Bedes breakfast is that staff cater for the
individual wishes of the guests instead of simply slopping the food across the
counter like at Anglicare's Food Barn in Elizabeth. The Anglicare bosses should
visit St Bedes and copy their level of attention to detail.
2 June 2015
Sky City Casino did a brilliant re-enactment of the Fred's Van queue at the end of last Savoury Tuesday of May, when they gave away, as usual, free meat pies and coffee to small-time pokies addicts in Cent City.
Each gambler is allowed two small pies or pasties from 10:00am to 2:00pm on a Savoury Tuesday. When the session ends an employee shouts a signal that they're giving away the leftovers, and the old age pensioners gallop like animals to the tables.
As if emulating Fred's Van to the utmost, those at the end of the queue last Tuesday missed out, and like at Fred's Van, they made disappointing sounds with the odd person saying it didn't really matter.
They don't look like starving gambling addicts, yet are so easily manipulated by a few crumbles of food. Perhaps it is the excitement of the chase in otherwise dreary lives. At least one of the people I know there has cash assets of over a million dollars. The Casino's Fred's Van re-enactment is a strange phenomenon, and worthy of inclusion in a day trip for foreign tourists that might also include the Zoo.
2 June 2015
Mary Magdalene Centre
Behind the Church on Moore Street, Adelaide
Saturday evening 6:00 - 7:30pm
There was a sombre mood amongst those living outside, particularly Beck's group sitting under gazebo in near darkness. It was the murder. There was little conversation. Beck told her boyfriend to stop tormenting Google. She said, "It's not funny."
Garfield was directing that evening's volunteers from Seymour and Concordia colleges. They were subdued as well.
Irene from Glenelg asked Garfield if he minded if she asked him a question then said she was going to ask it anyway. That brought a few laughs. She asked him if his legs ever heart ― he limps badly due to childhood polio. He wouldn't answer directly, but said he uses mind-over-matter to deal with any pain. She suggested pain killers, to which he repeated his previous answer.
One diner complained that the pasta was burnt and how could someone with no teeth eat burnt pasta. He said "the c**t who cooked this food ought to be shot."
The Cousin and The Ghost Who Walks agreed that the Salvation Army's meal was better for the second week in a row.
Lance Armstrong, The American and Father Christmas argued about whether there was a God. Mr Christmas said the Bible was a "bunch of malarkey".
Jenny was in hospital again, but not for her planned heart surgery.
The Captain must have had a good wash as he emanated no bad body odour at all. His intellect was strong, but his face was unnaturally red and his voice a whisper.
Alex, the religious woman asked a man if he supported the Adelaide Crows. he said his beanie represented him being a Koori then he talked about all this money being available from the Philanthropic Trustees. He also said the Aboriginals had their own Stone Henge long before the English monoliths were erected, but that people with bulldozers destroyed it in 1964.
Beck and her entourage left early, not even bothering to pick up the meat scraps put in a special ice-cream container for Google and Mary Jane.
2 June 2015
“I don’t play.”
A woman singer with the Salvation Army band has stopped
going to St Bedes in Semaphore because The Bait Woman also goes there, to
steal the cutlery.
The Bait Woman made a big scene at the Salvation
Army where she accused the singer of chasing her husband, a ridiculous
But this is the small stuff. The singer had an
unfortunate entanglement that The Bait Woman will use when and where she sees
The Bait Woman has been treated cruelly most of her
life and has become a cruel woman. Like shouting, “Paedophile” at The Drug
Addict at the Salvation Army. He isn’t one, but The Bait Woman can’t stop
herself. It is her past catching up with her. She can be respected for her toughness, but the
singer shouldn’t be the target.
All the singer did was stand on the stage and be
part of a wonderful performance that made dozens of people happy. But, as The Bait Woman said, “I don’t play.” 1 June 2015
“I am who I am.”
“I am who I am.” The Port Power Queen’s voice boomed from the
laneway back of the Mary Magdalene Centre last Saturday evening as she began her
familiar refrain of accusing everyone of being losers for supporting the
Adelaide Crows or Essendon Bombers.
It was an impressive performance from the big
women A vulnerable woman who
walks by the Sky City Casino shouting, “Loser” .
The Port Power Queen takes a proactive stance against criticism before it comes. Her
courage makes most people smile, and some shrink away in fear, but no one ignores this powerful, loved woman.
1 June 2015
Terry the gambler says there is something wrong
with his girlfriend: she won’t do what he says. 1 June 2015
were down, perhaps due to the rain or the murder. By 9:45pm Des said they’d had
hardly more than 70 cups of barista coffee ordered compared to the usual 100 in
the first hour.
the Drunk was drunk. He kicked a chair repeatedly as Joylene from Kensington
Special School yelled at him at the top of her voice. Her boyfriend’s face
turned white, but he didn’t intervene. Thin Jo showed no reaction, but
shepherded Chris the Drunk outside.
hours later, during the church service, one of the more effective and popular
Salvation Army workers entered. He was slightly drunk and wanted to dance with
Captain Laurel during the church service. Laurel obliged for thirty seconds
then backed away. The worker sat with Chris the Drunk, who was still drunk.
Matt Reeves had his head bowed for a long period then pulled out his phone and
videoed the band of three: a brown skinned islander woman who sang, a white
woman on keyboard and Guy playing guitar.
the Baptist raised his arms, his left thumb shaking from early onset Parkinson’s
disease that he describes as the presence of the Lord. Later, John began preaching
from his front row seat. Captain Laurel’s tongue reacted by poking around her
mouth; she rubbed the left side of her face then adapted to John’s sermon. The
band generously played quietly in the background, giving John the aura of a
hero shouting from the wilderness. He should have his own 15-minute slot to
proclaim his first century Bible interpretation.
Matt Reeves left then returned chomping on an apple and talked to Laurel while
Thin Jo stood at the back, and Chris the Drunk shadow boxed a wall.
the verandah, Ajay ordered a series of double shot cappuccinos while Lorraine
ran around helping Cowboy pack up the chairs. She smelled of alcohol, but was
moving strongly, and looked in better condition than in previous weeks.
a strong critic of men in the homeless scene that beat up women. His working
life has been as a soldier or as a construction worker, but now finds himself
camping in the Parklands. He has a strong character.
volunteers were from the Australasian Christian Church in Tusmore. They happily
served the guests, but also seemed to relish the freedom to be with each other.
was back. He said John the Baptist turns 68 this month. John doesn’t appear
was rugged up on her invalid scooter sitting most of the evening outside with
her husband. She asked me to tell The Man from Peterborough to stop talking
insultingly of her.
woman talked of her years taking magic mushrooms. Father Christmas had a heavy
cold three weeks after getting a flu shot. Despite the illness he was talking
less crazy than normal.
a sombre evening.
Grandma antagonises two guests
“No,” a homeless man replied to Grandma’s
request to take his photograph with her Canon wide-angle DSLR camera.
She went to the next table and asked Jelena, but
didn’t reveal the purpose until asked. It was for Grandma Margaret’s Salvation Army Facebook
page. Jelena agreed, but when the homeless man felt the camera flash at the
next table he grabbed his bags and stormed off to another part of the hall.
Who gains from the guests’ images on Facebook.
Wouldn’t the Army be portrayed as helping the downtrodden whilst the guests
would be marked as people being helped: drug addicts, mental patients,
alcoholics, etc. Public perception might be that a guest’s
picture would be seen as a social stigma while for the Salvation Army it would
31 May 2015
Dead Woman in BusinessSA carpark
She went by the first name of Rose, but her real
first name might have been Lisa or Alicia, according to a police officer.
She was a quietly spoken woman, aged 30-32, and
European, according to a Parklands camper, because “white Australian women of
that age usually had blotchy skin”.
She was seen at Hutt Street Centre, and a few
months previously one side of her face was blackened with one eye swollen and
partly shut, which made it difficult for her to walk properly. The homeless camper said it was atrocious that
no one at Hutt Street Centre had done anything about her being beaten,
especially the management. He was equally appalled that no one had noticed her
missing for the past two weeks. The killer “is amongst us”, the camper told me,
not with fear, but with resolution.
31 May 2015
Food ran out
The food ran out at the Mary Magdalene Centre
last Saturday. Everyone got a meal, but the usual second plate never
eventuated. Takeaway orders were cancelled. “Can you believe it?” The
Ghost Who Walks asked.
The joint was packed. All the tables in the main
room were crowded and the chairs against the wall taken. Half a dozen men ate
near the steps leading to the upper floor. The middle room, where the coffee is
served, was crowded as usual, partly due to the table being too big for the
Outside, there were a few chairs empty because most people wanted to feel
the blast of hot air from the powerful overhead heaters in the main room. Deserts were in surplus, but The Ghost Who
Walks wasn’t impressed because he has diabetes. The Cousin also has diabetes,
but makes exceptions to sugary food when it is free.
Jerry, from Pirie Street Riot, sang and
played the guitar in the laneway while surrounded by four teenage girls who listened with
incredulity and respect, and hardly any mockery. Pirie Street Riot should play
weekly. Jerry always wears a smirk when he’s singing, as if asking, “Is it
really me you’re listening to?
There is a good feeling at the Mary Magdalene
Centre in Moore Street, helped by the heritage architecture, which makes people
feel happy, except in those crazy men’s toilets where the door makes a clunking
sound when you push it open, and you think you’ve just knocked over some
geriatric, or an Ice addict looking for a reason to kill you.
Half the volunteers are new each week, mostly students from private high schools and universities. 30 May 2015
Into the whirlwind
The Elder Statesman muttered to a friend that last
Tuesday might be the last time he was coming to Mary’s Kitchen. Years before he’d
allegedly said, “I’ve had enough of these people.” I could empathise with his
feelings. While the range of eccentrics was exciting to be with, it took an
initial effort to normalise with their diverse cultures before getting into the
chaos of what is the Tuesday evening meal.
The Elder Statesman had been a Telecom and
Telstra employee for his whole career before taking a redundancy package.
Wiping up the three pools of blood on the bricks
outside the church last Tuesday knocked something out of him. Inside, when the ex-Israeli
Army sniper kept talking, while Lyn was saying Grace, he finally had had enough
and walked out.
The meal was cous cous and sausages, and pumpkin
and bacon soup, and for the only vegetarian, vegetable soup. The vegetarian complained
to himself when the vegetarian soup ran out because the meat eaters were taking
There was also freshly chopped fruit salad, and
scones and margarine, tea and coffee. Loaves of bread plus fruit and vegetables
were given out in the takeaway room. Lucien took twelve loaves for his “neighbours”.
That is nearly six hundred loaves of bread each year for the 80-year-old with
lots of friends.
The blood on the bricks was from Giuseppe from
Bedford Industries who suffered the nose bleed with quiet dignity.
Lyn rang a bell before saying Grace because she
is still developing the confidence to speak to a crowd. She is improving year
Johnny Johnson happily announced he’d lost his
watch; usually he loses his wallet. Sally was there after a long absence. She
said her sister is moving from Catherine House to her fourth Housing Trust
unit. Ben had a bandaged palm after cutting his hand in the kitchen where he
lives. He’s been angry for weeks, but last Tuesday he told me he wasn’t angry
Someone said David Roe, the white-haired
derelict, has about two months to live. David has looked pale for the last
year. He’s a nice person to be around apart from being very annoying.
Church events like Mary’s Kitchen are the glue
in so many people’s social and emotional lives - both those of the guests, the
employees and the volunteers. Mary did a good thing starting it up; she’s dead
With luck, the Elder Statesman will be at
Liberty Life next Tuesday, where the conversation is more intellectual. One
person said it was more “upper class”.
Mary’s Kitchen, St Andrews Uniting
Church-at-the-Sea, Jetty Road Glenelg. Every Tuesday at 6:00pm with guests arriving as
early as 5:00pm to talk to each other outside the church. 29 May 2015
Food Bank’s half-assed affair
Trock and The Ghost Who Walks journeyed south to
Noarlunga last week, and came back shocked at the low quality of offerings at
the Food Bank Pop-up.
me the food ran out while there was still a queue. He said there was half the
variety and half the amount compared to the excellent Kilburn Food Bank Pop-up
The Ghost added that there was a massive line-up
and everything was rationed, and that the two rows of table had identical
items. It was such a half-assed affair that one wonders why Food Bank bothered
turning up at Noarlunga.
Let’s hope they put on a better show when they come
north to beautiful downtown Elizabeth.
28 May 2015
St Lukes Lunch
As if emulating the famed penny breakfasts that
St Lukes at Whitmore Square offered school children like former Adelaide Mayor
Steve Condous during the Great Depression and World War 2 years, the church is
offering three dollar lunches to everyone Monday to Friday at noon.
Today’s offering was beef soup followed by roast
lamb, coleslaw, potato salad and roast carrots, potatoes and white onions and
cold lima beans. Desert was an excellent chocolate pudding topped with
The Ghost said there was “stacks of food with
takeaways” and they don’t ever require identification, that is, they treat you
with respect. There is also a Sunday meal at St Lukes, but no one is sure of
28 May 2015
I was sneaking around the South Parklands during the dark hours
of early evening, past the Adelaide Hockey Club, where a small group of girls
were playing tennis under the light towers.
I thought what a luxurious city we live in where a few girls can
play tennis under these incredibly expensive light towers, all fired up over 18
courts while just two or three were being used.
In a response typical of most shabbily-dressed elderly men, I
moved back into the shadows, fearing someone would run to the fence and accuse
me of being a child molester. Seventy metres back from the fence, amongst the
trees and dry creek bed, lay hidden a small fifty dollar tent, carefully
camouflaged amongst the greenery.
And two hundred metres across Greenhill Road, in the underground carpark, lay the
decomposing body of a homeless woman, 19-hours before it was discovered by
BusinessSA employees parking their cars.
28 May 2015
The case of the missing toilet seat
The toilet seat has disappeared from the men’s lavatory
at an indoor soup kitchen in Semaphore. The chief suspect is The Animal, but
this has not been proven.
27 May 2015
Ash played the rescue game whilst living on the
streets. She rarely slept outside. She simply sat in McDonalds until someone took
From Catherine House women’s shelter she moved into a
recently built 2-bedroom semi-detached Housing Trust unit in the western
suburbs. Catherine house gave her a $1500 credit at an Op Shop. They also
helped her get an $800 no interest loan.
She wanted to spend the $1500 on furnishings via
gumtree.com.au, but they insisted she get quotes so she was stuck buying from a
particular Op shop. The lounge suite she got from there fell apart quickly and
the bed hurt her back. The $800 wasn’t enough to buy a new washing machine and
fridge so she bought used models, which quickly conked out.
But over the next 18-months she used her Disability
Support Payments and money from Big Issue magazine to tastefully furnish her
unit by discrete shopping at multiple Op Shops. Ash hasn’t simply loaded her
unit with anything, but carefully chosen the wall pictures, rugs and furniture
so one could easily think she’d hired an interior decorator. It is beautiful
and emanates a warm atmosphere.
Apart from her fashion sense one wouldn’t suspect that Ash,
who attends various psychiatric and homeless joints, had such sensitivity. I
suspect she has more fashion and decorative sense than 90% of employees at
And from her life she remembers having a ball living on
the streets. From the $1500 purchase gift she is thankful to Catherine House,
but is thinking of writing a letter to them explaining how she could have made
better purchases if she’d been able to use gumtree and local Op Shops, rather
than being hurried into making quick purchases. And she wishes she knew the
name of the person who set things moving for her getting the Housing Trust unit
and the rest of it.
And my contact with her was because she had a leather
reclining chair she wanted to give away. She said every old man needs a reclining
chair. How true that is.
And sure, she said, write about her, but use her street
27 May 2015
From Living in the Parklands
Bill has lived outside for years, from the arid zones
north of Kalgoorlie to the Adelaide CBD Parklands. Like many older men he
avoids groups despite their safety. He drinks alcohol and smokes, but within
reason. This is what he says; he doesn’t appear an alcoholic.
He knows how to work the system for food vouchers, and laments
the introduction of computers that make it difficult to hit four places in four
Social workers recently helped him out via “Social
Inclusion”. They didn’t want an old man sleeping outside in cold weather. They
found him a place to live in upmarket Walkerville. How nice, except it wasn’t
It was a rooming house for drunks. They are making his
life a misery. He told this to the social workers. They agreed to help him
further. They found him a room in another place. It is called Crazy Cottage, on
Carrington Street. A friend said that is the room where a man was murdered last
In their bureaucratic reports, and statistically
speaking, the placement of Bill in housing has been a resounding success. For
him, it has been a horrible failure, and he’s thinking of moving back to a
quiet place in the Parklands, free from drunks.
27 May 2015
The Animal struck at a Semaphore indoor
soup kitchen. You could smell the result throughout the building. For a reason
not known The Animal refuses to defecate in the toilet directly, but deposits
his waste on the floor. Others were mistakenly suspected until it became
obvious it was The Animal, who has a reputation for urinating at bus stops. And
how could anyone have missed it because the other suspects had normal names?
Someone said he should be expelled, but another said the soup kitchen was for
those already alienated from society.
Anyway, I must have stepped in it because the odour permeated my car. At the
Casino, I dragged my feet and walked with my feet rubbing the carpet at angles.
And who cleaned up the mess? The retired nurse who arrives at the crack of dawn
to prepare breakfast and is the last to leave, and is so welcoming to all the
guests, and works unpaid, and how lucky to have her and others of the same
And what a wonderful opportunity for all concerned to overcome their own
26 May 2015
Salvation Army Round-up
The free evening meal on Saturday 23 May 2015 at 277 Pirie
Street, Adelaide was described by arch-critic, The Ghost Who Walks, as
excellent. The Cousin said the marinated
chicken steaks and wide range of roasted vegetables were better than at the
Magdalene Centre that night. The Army even put sachets of salt and pepper on
The coffee service at 5:00pm was much more prompt than usual.
In the free food room guests picked up bread, old salad
dressing, cold fresh milk in 3 litre bottles, chewing gum, rice crackers,
two-minute noodles, and half a dozen varieties of skin moisturiser under the
ever-vigilant eyes of Grandma Margaret .
Bob the QuizMaster was in a buoyant mood after his successful
game show, and announced he was going to the Greek islands for a holiday.
The ping pong table was brought out soon after and used by a
wider range of players than usual including the son of a Dean Martin look-alike,
and also by Joylene’s husband. The volunteers were fewer in number than usual,
but more experienced and left the table out until past 11:30pm. Very generous
Jelena returned after a long absence. She spoke to everyone
regardless of age and status. Her manner wasn’t one of professional
application, but of happiness to be there. Her only regret was having eaten a
chocolate donut. My empathy was with her having unwisely eaten a second bowl of
apple crumble and ice-cream at the Magdalene Centre.
Portuguese Joe was there and communicated by whistling and
singing, which was more than usual. I heard him talk in 1984 and 2007, but not since.
Tim the Schizophrenic in his hooded raincoat wasn’t talking, but
his presence was enough.
Wayne the Piano Teacher was unhappy and sat in the back of the
chapel with his Therapy Cat, having been told he can’t bring it back unless it
is in a cage and kept in a locked room. Wayne is suffering deteriorating health
and wonders how much more he can take.
Irma from YWAM prayed with him for fifteen minutes. She was
praying for another man in the chapel earlier on.
Tom was in the chapel with his suitcase, either going to or
coming back from Tasmania.
The verandah was opened up and ‘No Smoking’ signs were on the
table. Lance Armstrong reminded Gerry he shouldn’t smoke there so Gerry went
out on Pirie Street. That was unfair to Gerry, I thought. What’s a little smoke
in a well-ventilated verandah? But 70-year-old Lance says smoke inhalation in
small amounts inhibits wound healing, and since Lance has frequently falls off
his racing bike, or gets hit by cars, this is an important issue to him.
The doughnuts and buns were displayed in a clear ‘sneeze proof’
box with three or four shelves. Very attractive and easy to clean.
The coffee is still an issue. Perhaps a food-safe thermometer
would be a guide to temperature control. Lance Armstrong differed with me and
said his was hot enough.
There didn’t seem to be one boring person there that night. In
fact, there never are.
About 1:00am, traffic on Hindley Street was slower than walking
pace. Three fire trucks were attending a grease fire at the Black Bull. The
footpaths were choked with people standing around. Most were white folk plus
lots of Arab men, but few Asians except an old short person collecting cans
from rubbish bins. Phil the Celebrity Can Collector, in competition with
professionals on each side, tapped his bongo drum near the Black Bull. I didn’t
see Semaphore Bruno; he prefers North Terrace.
25 May 2015
the looking glass:
a peephole into Anglicare's real attitude
Two weeks after Rhonda Callaghan's Anglicare grass cutter mowed too close to the ground the grass still hasn't regrown. But he returns on a quiet Saturday afternoon at the retirement units, inhabited by people aged 63 to 90, and at their expense
After leaving this mess, Anglicare housing manager Rhonda Callaghan declares the job a fine piece of work. Meanwhile, the security lights blaze most of the day then turn off at night. And according to Rhonda Callaghan, this won't change either.
The grass cutter was bolstered when he learned that Rhonda
Callaghan was backing him all the way. When I arrived home one afternoon
and was entering my retirement unit, the 30-year-old man rushed over
to my car, and stood with his blower near the open window. He opened his mouth
wide to display his teeth and held my stare. I checked later to see if he had
actually been removing built-up leaves in the gutter, but nothing had changed.
It was a show of .......perhaps, letting an old man know who really ruled the
25 May 2015
Beck told me a helicopter flew low over her
campsite in the Parklands last week, four nights in a row. Police searched
their campsite one night, but found nothing. Last month they took her bong.
Beck’s boyfriend is off his crutches, but is
supposed to be wearing his “moonboot”. The boot “broke”. Their dogs, Mary Jane
and Google, are in good health.
Beck was covered head to foot last Saturday
evening outside the Mary Magdalene Church, except for her hands and a small
part of her face. She appeared in good spirits.
25 May 2015
Scene of the Crime
“I was in the Parklands about to commit a crime,
but decided to hang back in my car for two or three minutes. Thirty seconds
later a patrol car parked behind me then three officers ran past me into the
bush, where my crime was about to be committed. They returned and asked if I’d
seen someone with blond hair and wearing a black hoody. Apparently, he’d robbed
two Arabs at an ATM in Hutt Street. After the police left, I called off my own
Anonymous 25 May 2015
In response to a derogatory comment about Piano
Teacher Wayne and his Therapy Cat, a man surprised his listeners by saying that
if that was what kept Wayne coping with his life-threatening chronic physical
illness, then it wasn’t too bad.
And for those sleeping on the verandah at the Salvation Army, he said if that was the worst thing that has happened to them then this shouldn't take the smile from their faces.
The man added that Robin, the Methamphetamine
Girl with the 85-year-old face, was lucid and polite. She caused very little
trouble to others despite her Habit. At least she wasn’t a Crack addict, he
And we considered other people and their peculiar
ways, and the man showed us that instead of applying our values to other people
we might instead see how their eccentricities have enabled them to cope with
the consequences of their pasts, many of which were beyond their control.
Perhaps the road to health lies with accentuating and valuing harmless eccentricities. Whatever, our discussion was a lesson in humility, and perhaps
24 May 2015
Hutt Street Clothing Pop-up One man said the clothing was reasonable, but
that he’d thought it was for sale, and he hadn’t any money. He discovered it
was free near the end of the day when the good stuff was gone. He said some customers picked up a change of
clothing then left their dirty clothing as a donation, which went straight into
the rubbish bin. He said their reason for not carrying spare clothing was because
they had nowhere to keep their stuff. The only place left is the Hutt Street
Centre and that closes at 3:00pm. So, rather than hump their spare clothing on
their back each day, they’ve decided not to own clothing except that which they
are wearing. Quite logical from that
24 May 2015
The Captain at the gates of eternity
The Cousin didn’t know what had hit him in the main
dining room at the Mary Magdalene Centre on Saturday evening. His eyes went
bloodshot, his nose pink and he began a deep bronchial coughing while looking
around in anger.
Captain Costa Concordia has passed by within a
metre and filled The Cousin’s olfactory senses with a gangrene-like odour.
Twenty minutes later in the coffee urn room Trock
unconsciously swung his hands wildly as if trying to throw off an attacker. The
Captain had passed through at the other side of the room.
The Captain is deteriorating monthly as if moving
through a slow-motion continuous stroke. His pallor is an unhealthy red, his
unblinking blue eyes stare at eternity and he has obvious trouble moving. He
still searches rubbish bins for food to feed his feral cats, but the way things
are going he’ll end up in Ian George Court, where the homeless are sent to die.
The 1970’s ‘Young Turks’ of the derelict world, who
challenged the previous generation of 1930’s swagmen by discarding their
wrinkled black suits for casual wear, are disappearing one by one. 24 May 2015
Sons of Anarchy man knocked down at WestCare
Silly Billy, who isn’t silly at all, said he
admired the man with the crazy haircut and who wears the Sons of Anarchy coat.
Mr Billy said the man was beaten badly and knocked down three times at WestCare
last week. Yet by Wednesday he was walking around as if nothing had happened.
Mr Billy and I both agreed that if we were hit hard just once we’d be in bed
for a week and suffer the trauma for years.
The Sons of Anarchy man appears dangerous, and he
smacked someone a few times last year, but both Graham and Silly Billy say he’s
soft-spoken and polite, and generally doesn’t attack anyone. But he does have a
24 May 2015
Last Wednesday at the Salvation Army
277 Pirie Street, Adelaide
The homeless man with the injured hand still
sleeps on the verandah. The swelling hasn’t gone down at all. He and his
girlfriend sat like refugees on the floor of the closed off verandah.
The meal of pies and pasties was served late, and
then desert wasn’t served so half the guests left upon which a woman brought
out the serving trolley filled with the excellent cheese cake.
The untrained volunteers picked up the plates
before the guests had finished, and if someone wasn’t gobbling down the food
like an animal the volunteer assumed they had finished and grabbed the plate. However,
there was one young woman with black hair who sat with an old man for forty
minutes, giving him the utmost of her attention. A generous woman.
Demis Roussos returned after an absence of nearly
two months, and without his Coles shopping trolley. He is well spoken, but his
chronic bad cough gave him trouble speaking. Just a touch of pneumonia, he
said, from sleeping rough.
Most of the Crony Gang were missing as they prefer
Fred’s Van on Wednesdays.
23 May 2015
Saturday Night at the Salvation Army
277 Pirie Street, Adelaide
The Army can’t get the barista coffee hot enough.
They use generous amounts of ground coffee, good milk and sachet sugar, and
serve the brew in expensive disposable cups, but can’t serve it hot. This is an
administrative lapse and Captain Matt Reeves should ensure things improve.
Instead of the cream buns being displayed in
cabinets they are now packed in plastic bags and tossed in a pile. Tacky, and
The tables were placed too close together resulting
in fewer people being seated than if less were set out.
The free food and clothing room served mostly salad
dressings past the Use-by date, plus Sanitarium drinks and three or four other
items. The used clothing racks are always popular.
The table tennis bats were badly damaged, and by
people not associated with the Saturday event. The net is faulty and as soon as
the table becomes unused for ten minutes the volunteers wheel it back into the
store room, long before closing time. They’re thinking about packing up, but
neglecting to concentrate on serving the guests.
Piano Player Wayne wasn’t there. Lorraine’s
lifestyle is damaging her, physically. Irma always does the hard slog work of
cleaning up. There should be a charge-point for people with invalid scooters.
But looking at the event as a whole, it was an
excellent evening, and those in charge were so subtle and helpful they appeared
to be helpers rather than bosses.
22 May 2015
Institutional Food served in the Barn
Elizabeth Mission Food Barn Elizabeth Way, Elizabeth
Thursday’s meal was meat stew, English style. The
security guard said he was a vegan and wouldn’t touch it. In what could be a revolution in English cooking,
someone said a pepper shaker existed somewhere in the kitchen. A cook ran out
saying she’d try to get some pepper. The single salt shaker, however, wasn’t in
Last week, hot coffee wasn’t available because a
veteran cook poured cold water into the urn during the meal.
This is an administrative failure. The cooks need
inspiration and their service should be enhanced with further training. There
should be salt and pepper shakers on each table.
The Food Barn meals are "institutional food". A social
worker told me that girls who "played up" in the prison-style girls
home, where she worked, were punished by getting special meals that were boiled
in water and served without spices or salt and pepper. These meals were labelled
by the social work profession "institutional food".
There was, however, excellent fruit on the main counter and
the sounds of the thin crowd were happy as they enjoyed the social occasion.
There wasn’t a security guard in the carpark. “No
loitering” signs out front forced the loiterers to loiter at the side of the
building. They seem okay; the Elizabeth Mission is their second home.
Outside the shopping centre, an Aboriginal woman yelled,
“Paedophile,” twenty times at the top of her voice at someone in the distance
who shouted back.
22 May 2015
Day Centre mobile soup kitchen
to Friday 6:30 pm at Hurtle Square, and 7:15 at Whitmore Square until early
Ghost Who Walks says they supply multiple types of soup each night including
vegetarian. He says it is excellent.
The tenants from Crazy Cottage cross the road for it.
you attend the 6:30pm serving this gives enough time to rush to Fred’s Van at
Graham from Salisbury shoves bully
A bully at Fred’s Van accused Ian, the Sky City
Casino gambling addict, of stealing his bag of food. Ian didn’t. Ian is of
small stature, with slightly long hair, and of fragile demeanor. One needs only
to look at him and he turns away. He worked most of his life then retired, and
then became a gambling addict.
The bully followed increasingly frightened Ian
around in the darkness until equally soft-spoken Graham from Salisbury gave him
a shove and he backed off.
It was a simple gesture, but in the darkness of
the Gawler Place park, and with the unpredictability of some guests, it was a
brave gesture, and typical of Graham from Salisbury.
21 May 2015
Distorting the History - Anglicare-style
Two “before and after” photographs appearing in
the Laura and Alfred West Cottage Homes Inc Annual Report of 2014 show the
front gardens of an Anglicare-administered group of units in Elizabeth.
The “before” photograph is a patch of bare earth
in the heat of summer while the “after” photograph shows woodchips and planted
shrubbery. A third picture shows the staff from Aussie Home Loans who spent a
day covering the area with woodchips and planting native shrubbery. These unpaid
volunteer office workers were clearly exhausted after their work. It was a
However, the Anglicare grass cutter and
quasi-gardener ignored the new plants and most of them died. Weeds sprung forth
that had existed within the soil plus those that came with the woodchips. The
result was an ugly mess that must have saddened the volunteers who later drove
by to see the result of their efforts.
Then came along a tenant named Annette. She
suffered extreme depression, but nevertheless spent twenty hours a week pulling
out the weeds. When Annette moved to Tasmania, Meg, the new tenant in her unit,
continued the effort to kill the weeds and nourish the remaining shrubbery.
Trish also helped when she moved into unit 7 after Jane died from cancer.
But the most active gardener was Jean Porter,
85, who brought hundreds of shrubs with her from her previous residence. She
also pruned the overgrown trees that were choked with weeds. She worked
tirelessly for two months, putting the rest of us to shame.
As the greenery blossomed it was then that
Deidre Knight from Anglicare arrived with her camera. Soon after, and the
tenants weren’t told, she published the “before and after” photographs in the
2014 Annual Report, and attributed the improved gardens solely to the Aussie
Home Loans Staff.
It was true, they had done a hard day’s work, but
the result was singularly ineffective. It was Meg, Annette, Trish, and mostly
Jean Porter who improved the gardens. But instead of acknowledging the
initiative of our aged tenants, and the Anglicare grass cutter who poisoned
some of Jean’s shrubbery, Deidre Knight falsified the history by attributing
the improvements solely to the Aussie Home Loans Staff.
And what about Anglicare’s promised follow-up of
volunteers and fertiliser to improve the gardens further? This never happened.
It was Jean Porter who paid for new shrubs, fertiliser and lime for the soil.
21 May 2015
has to do it
others were taking pictures and video of the Pirie Street Riot Band, Army Equity Queen Grandma Margaret was taking pictures of the audience. She asked individuals very nicely
for permission, but her wide shots captured more than the person she was aiming
for, and not a few people were unhappy about that.
Facebook page shows a man with his head concealed in a rubbish bin and his feet
suspended off the ground. It looks like **** from the Laura and Alfred West
Cottage Home units in Mitchel Park. He has Alzheimer’s. It’s a revealing
the meals were delivered to the tables last Saturday one man tried to exchange
the beef meal for a chicken meal. Margaret initially thought he was trying to
take two plates, but after discovering he was exchanging one for another said he
had to accept what he got. That’s one side of the story. One person said the
man was “more angry” than he’d ever seen him and left soon after. This was not
a positive outcome and seemed to do damage, the opposite of what the gathering
is designed to achieve.
that other matter, Margot and her husband are still worried about receiving a
summons from the police over an assault on Margaret by the invalid Margot.
Finalising that matter will be a relief for everyone. Margot admitted to the
police she was guilty and will face the consequences.
B. is in her early seventies, and Army royalty, so no one wants to tarnish
a long career with complaints. She is also a valuable contributor who ensures
the greediest people don’t grab from the meek. Doing good is a hard job, but
sometimes one’s actions should be tempered with discretion.
“If you don’t love someone, sex is disgusting.”
A woman at a Port Adelaide soup kitchen 20 May 2015
The Bait Woman is putting her husband through the
wringer after his triumphant performance last Saturday evening with the Pirie
Street Riot band. She says he isn’t caring for her enough. She reacted similarly after his first performance six
weeks ago. If only she had the insight to understand her own disappointments in
life, and allow him his moment in the sun.
20 May 2015
Liberty Life Church Free Soup Kitchen Tuesdays 6:00 – 7:30pm 121 Morphett Road, Camden Park
When the bell went for the mid-meal intermission Steve
and Luarn told us how they’d become part of a business where ash from coal
fired power stations is mixed with a chemical to form hard bricks without having
to put them throughkiln.
Steve said that a team from an American corporation
with 323 million tonnes of ash visited him and his business partners. He wanted us to hear it first. He also said that
he and Luarn knew that money is a temptation, and that they want to build orphanages
These bricks dominated the meal and later that night I
woke up at 3:00am and spent a whole hour thinking of bricks.
We also talked of government surveillance, a cashless
society and the Beast, but this conversation lapsed even after one man told an
elderly church woman that the government tapped Medicare records and pathology
results and knew the contents of her vagina. This piece of information went
over like a balloon filled with bricks.
The meal was vegetarian soup, meat and vegetable soup,
and buns and Turkish bred with margarine and tea and coffee.
20 May 2015
Third visit to Elizabeth Food Barn
The carpark security guard must have been
hiding, but the pure white Liamson indoor guard in the Food Barn chatted to a
white woman as he rested his foot on the seat of the chair next to her. He
exudes vitality and cleanliness and is seen by most guests as a protector, but the
foot routine is a display of dominance.
The meat stew was either chicken or silverside
depending on who you talked to. With it came a yeast bun, mashed potatoes with
butter, boiled to buggery cabbage, boiled to buggery pumpkin and boiled
carrots. In other words, English food. Desert was bread soaked in custard with
The fellow next to me said he’d walked from
Virginia for the meal, and that he had seven smashed vertebrae, and spent $350
of his $550 fortnightly dole money on rent. He sometimes took hours to get out
of bed due to his injuries yet can’t get the disability support pension. He
said he’d worked twenty years and paid taxes and now the system won’t help him.
“Because you worked, eh?” I suggested.
“Yeah, I should have been a bludger from the
start,” he replied.
“Yup,” I added, resisting the urge to say, “Like
The fellow next to him told of someone who
cooked drugs in his car as he drove around the Adelaide CBD, then sold the
finished product from his car window before starting a fresh brew. Another added
that some cooks used caustic soda and ratsak in their brews.
Out in the hallway sat the silent anxious, even
despondent applicants for welfare vouchers. Their mood contrasted with the soft
sounds inside the Food Barn.
The trick with the Food Barn is to arrive early,
perhaps twenty minutes earlier than the 11:30am serving time, and expect that
it will take a few visits to immerse yourself in the unique and frightening
culture of Elizabeth.
18 May 2015
is recovering well from his heart attack and expected to move to a medium care
establishment where he is free to come and go.
Welfare Broker 2
next attempt to get a welfare broker was via the Department of Communities and
Social Inclusion. Their impressive list of advocates who helped elderly people
at risk of homelessness covered Adelaide and even the small towns of South
Elizabeth Francis from the big list. She never even replied to my email, but a
woman named Lorna phoned instead. She said she’d “placed” the African woman in
a unit across the street from me. This wasn’t the greatest news as I wanted to
escape Elizabeth, the suburb, and watching this lonely African woman leaning
over her mailbox, as if gazing across the African Savannah, didn’t strike me as
a success story.
Lorna wanted fresh medical letters before she
would contact the Housing Trust on my behalf. I’d already supplied them with
numerous medical reports and wasn’t going to further waste my doctor’s time
once again. So that was the end of Lorna.
The Anglicare Service at Holden Hill helps homeless
old people find welfare housing, but since I was already renting they told me
to go away and call the Anglicare Tenants Info and Advisory Service. This
organisation said they maintained tenancies, and since I wanted to leave mine, I
could take a hike. Using the magic words “at risk of homelessness” and
“elderly”, made no impact whatsoever. They suggested the Homeless Gateway.
This was bad news because the only words the man
there used was, “no, no, no”. He suggested another organisation, which he said was
in the chair next to him. Yes, in the next chair. This sent my mind spinning.
At the Housing Trust in Flinders’ Street, where
customers are required to ask permission to use the toilet, I stood for half an
hour with a dozen Africans to advance four places up the queue, then another
twenty minutes sitting on a foam stool until called to a special enclave
designed like a prison interview room. The Aboriginal employee disregarded my
reason for being there, to move black onto Category 1, but said they’d give me
two weeks rent money and guarantee the bond when I moved. We agreed on one
point: we both hated Elizabeth.
The HomelessnessSA organisation seems to be a
bureaucratic shelf company with no actual physical presence, yet makes periodic
pronouncements saying that most homeless people are women, not men. I asked ShelterSA whether HomelessnessSA
actually existed, but the bureaucrat disregarded my question, instead giving a
huge list of places I should contact for housing. This included Crazy Cottage where a man was
murdered eight months ago. All the places ShelterSA recommended required that
one plead insanity, criminality, drug addiction or mental impairment to gain a
tenancy, and that one should never expect mutual respect or a feeling of
equality with these welfare housing bureaucrats.
I know how to play the game, but I can’t do it.
The welfare housing criteria is so strict that any successful application
requires that you lie to your doctor, who then lies to the bureaucrats, who lie
to the government to secure their own funding for their salaries, then the
government lies about the wonderful job they’re doing. The process is so
degrading that only those who are willing to crawl through the mud get decent welfare
This is why you see people with expensive cars
and affluent lifestyles living in welfare housing while grey-faced, exhausted
men and women sleep for months or even years under trees. They won’t play the
game: they won’t lie.
Similarly, people collecting food parcels and
Coles gift cards from charities are generally overweight, even obese, yet play
the “I haven’t eaten for two days,” routine, and the social workers accept this
game because they’re rewarded for “helping the poor”. But a person living
outside is treated with suspicion.
It’s a racket where equity and honesty are the
18 May 2015
Sam, the crazy German and the sad girl
yesterday the quality of food increased at the Mary Magdalene Centre after
autopsies on homeless people indicated chronic malnutrition.
And so, soup, roast
potatoes, huge amounts of roasted chicken, mixed boiled frozen vegetables, white
bread and margarine, tea and coffee, ice-cream and canned fruit were prepared and
served by James the transvestite and his large team. Two 45-year-old women were
particularly helpful with ensuring the meek received their meal. Of the six
young rich-family serving girls one was sad and did nothing, and looked as if
she were going to cry. Are we that pathetic?
Old Sam with his red
face and frozen features took three attempts to rise from his chair. Stroke. He
snarled when someone commented on him retrieving a greasy palm-full of chicken
scraps from the rubbish bin.
The crazy German who
last month fondled a large plastic duck as if he were a woman with a new baby
went loud when he couldn’t pass between a man and a chair with his walking
frame. He dragged the chair and cursed the man. Senile and nasty.
Jenny wasn’t there:
she’s awaiting heart surgery, but has recently been too sick to survive the
procedure. It is terrible to see the old veterans being shipped off to Ian
George Court and other death houses, but that is how it has always been in the
homeless scene: old people and a high death rate.
Bluey was trying to
sell rubbish bin Coke to The Cousin. He was writing a note on one of those huge
toilet rolls you find in petrol station toilets. The crazy German didn’t like
that and called him a thief. Bluey couldn’t conceive of the term, but he
avoided The Ghost Who Walks due to a small unpaid debt. Trock was there after a
problem at the Salvation Army. Grinder was in reasonable health. He said the
Salvation Army required police clearances from prospective voluntary workers,
which prevented many underclass people from becoming helpers. Lance Armstrong
and the Vitamin Derelict were missing.
Live at 277 Pirie Street, Adelaide. Saturday 16 May 2015 8:00pm
The support singer
was an old man with white hair who sang three songs beginning with Skippy the
bush kangaroo. He was the consummate professional who put meaning into a silly
song then followed it with two others. His gig ended too soon.
It is difficult to
remember when Pirie Street Riot began to play for the dazzling brilliance of
its ten members.
woman, the Lily Munster look-a-like and Maria performed so well together they
could have been a separate trio by themselves. The happiness of the singing and
dancing black-haired woman poured across the audience even when she couldn’t
get close to a microphone.
Maria’s solo about
not taking anymore crap was particularly poignant if you knew where she was
coming from. Quite brave. She said she cried after singing it the first time. This
is a real artist.
We should have had
more exposure from the talented Goth, Lily Munster, but with so many band
members we missed out. Nevertheless, standing in the centre she gave the band a
professional solidity. One can’t help liking her.
Gavin was the
bravest singer. Considering how his missus reacted after his first conquering
performance, returning must have been one of the bravest things he’s done in
his life. Most men couldn’t have done it. He’s gained my respect.
The big fellow was
notable for his composure when his guitar string broke in the first song. He squatted
down and strung another one despite difficulty fitting it into the hole. You wouldn’t
have noticed any panic behind his cool demeanour except that after resuming his
mouth was downturned for ten minutes until he recovered to become the solid
fixture, the stable terminal in a chaotic world.
The thin fellow had
the most expertise and led the others into each number. His professional
training and attentive yet relaxed persona gave him the look of someone who had
grown up on the stage. He’s a mystery.
man did an emotional solo with the air of Billy Joel, so calmly it seemed as if
he was about to fall over backwards. How the storms of destiny have thrown
people into uncharted waters.
Jerry got the
loudest applause. It’s something about him that can’t be described. He exists
in another room of the mind, in another universe, emerges briefly and one gets
a glimpse of the real Jerry, and then he’s gone again. His stand alone solo had
minimal backing, and the lyrics told of hope and expectation.
The drummer looked
like a retired jackeroo making a formal appearance in his black suit and frilly
white shirt. He pounded through sixteen numbers so enthusiastically and
precisely that he continued drumming after one song had ended. What physical
and mental endurance the old boy must have, and what an inspiration to see him
Gary played from the
back line so naturally that whatever he did fitted well within the performance.
He looked natural; he moved naturally; he sang naturally; he showed no
desperation or ambition to grab the limelight yet was unambiguously the heart
of the performance. Everyone likes him. His mother was over from Melbourne and
what pride she must have felt for having such a quiet, persevering and generous
John Swan stood on
the edge of the audience then moved into the centre, supporting the event with
his presence. After all, what band can say that John Swan was in the audience?
When are they on
Johnny Johnson's Life
Mary's Kitchen St
Andrews Church-at-the-Sea, Jetty Road, Glenelg
Tuesday, Johnny Johnson was telling us how at age five he was hit in the back of the
head with a brick. Later, someone dropped a weight on his head. Then he was hit
by a car and flew over the top. He also got a spear through his nose and from
another incident had stitches around his eyes. Last year he had serious surgery
for mouth cancer that doctors say requires reconstructive surgery.
was abandoned by his mother at the beach as a child then brought up by Minda.
He got an invalid pension at age 21 and has been working for Bedford Industries
for thirty years. He retires this year at the age of 70 and will receive an
amount of superannuation. He is liked and protected by a dozen other Bedford
Industry workers and others at Mary’s Kitchen.
the meal at Mary’s Kitchen, one group meets across the road at Gloria Jean’s
coffee lounge. Another group is visiting cemeteries this week to pay homage to
deceased friends and relatives.
preacher tells a joke and says Grace before the meal amidst the loud
conversation of others. He makes little attempt to exert authority, but remains
a voice amongst voices; a voice in the wilderness that relies on its rightness
to be its authority.
offers “help” to St Bedes
has offered help to St Bedes Church in Semaphore. To its credit, Anglicare
already supplies a part-time co-ordinator who exercises attention, humility and
energy to her job that is hard to better anywhere in the welfare scene. But
whether such a dynamic church should allow a welfare corporation to further
influence them is problematic.
Anglicare snakes its way into St Bedes it will want names and addresses and
intimate personal information from the participants who are being “helped”. They
will add this information to the Anglicare computer and use it to seek further
government grants from which the upper echelon employees will scoop off a
percentage. They’ll also take photographs for their propaganda machine and
portray the participants as “sad cases being helped”.
might also measure the worth of further Anglicare involvement by comparing the
Food Barn lunch at the Anglicare dominated Elizabeth Mission with the St Bede’s
breakfast at Semaphore. One might notice the quality of the food and its
presentation, and the skills of the staff at both places.
then we have the craziness at the Anglicare administered retirement units in
Elizabeth East where housing manager Rhonda Callaghan has the grass cutter mowing
the lawn unnecessarily every two weeks, at the expense of the residents. She
then leaves the security lights faulty for the past six months so they blaze all
day then switch off at night.
Armstrong and The Law
wasn’t too specific, but he got into an argument on a train defending someone
against another man then was surprised when the guard issued a fine to him,
Lance. Adelaide Metro wouldn’t supply him with the surveillance footage, and
now say that it has been destroyed. How convenient is that?
vows he will take this case to the bitter end regardless of the expense,
similarly to his other case where a welfare big shot offered to pay the fines
and costs if Lance pleaded guilty. Lance is not that type of person. That is
why he is a leading member of the Crony Gang.
the Salvation Army QuizMaster, says the gang looks like a bunch of old men from
a retirement village.
evening at the Salvation Army
QuizMaster said John Swan drove down to Victor Harbour to pick up the meat and
chicken rolls from a Subway owned by a friend. He’d asked this friend for a
donation. John appears and behaves humbly.
current group from YWAM are getting ready to leave including Daniel from
Denmark and Rachel from Missouri. David, the brother of the Jehovah Witness
minister, kept gulping as they were talking to him. The YWAM crowd liked the
good natured brothers.
homeless people sleeping on the back verandah weren’t there, at least not until
8:00pm when the Crony Gang left.
recounted how he robbed a Bank. It was raining as he passed a branch and he saw
an umbrella embossed with the bank’s logo through the window. He walked in and
came out with the umbrella.
man remembered how a man’s finger fell to the ground after he bit it off. The
two men even fought in the hospital and a doctor asked the biter if he was
going to bite of his nose.
and her husband sat quietly at a table. He is worried about the summons they
expect from the police over Margaret’s complaint of being assaulted. It
would be a disastrous case for the Army if it reached the courts.
people were on edge as Margaret took photographs for her Facebook page.
She was polite and professional and sought permission and didn’t pressure
anyone. Nevertheless, the camera flashes unnerved one man who hates his photo
being taken. We all know we’ll be presented as sad cases being helped by
wonderful social workers. We are great people, perfect examples of the human
urge to survive.
told one man to go outside if he wanted to smoke his e-cigarette. She said the “smoke”
would trigger the fire alarm.
Ben Hollis packed up early. Bible study must have been earlier than the usual
said it was so cold in the hall. He again laughed at the Adelaide City Council claim that just eight people were left camping in the South Parklands.
Cousin left early as he’d been working hard at his voluntary job of bus driving
plus having attended a function at Burnside Council where he was awarded a
kept looking at our table. I thought she was looking at me and waved, but she
had her eye on Father Christmas. They’re both intelligent, high energy people.
James the barista made the coffee then sat with David and his JW brother.
people sit by themselves the whole evening, seemingly comfortable in their
One man left his walking stick at the scene of a crime with his name and phone number
on it. Late, last Monday night he snuck back and retrieved it.
are the homeless?
and Wirrandendi parks on the northern side of West Terrace Cemetery were
abandoned yesterday afternoon.
and other Salvation Army people went there with blankets and food on a recent
Saturday night and couldn’t find anyone.
from the Adelaide Day Centre said the police were removing people from the
South Parklands, “as we speak” on Friday afternoon.
course, there were the homeless people sleeping on the front and back porches
of the Salvation Army in Pirie Street, and behind the Pilgrim Church, and a
myriad of other secret and non-secret camps.
said those put up in hotels would be there for two weeks then back in the
Parklands. Trent knows these things.
man asked me how there was a kitchen apron that displayed both the Red Shield
logo and the Rosemont Estate logo. The questioner wondered if the Salvation
Army that was against alcohol was dropping its standards.
Vitamin Derelict moved his carpets and furniture from rent space and using
professional movers transferred the lot to different rent space until he makes
room in his huge warehouse to put this other stuff.
he had a huge argument at the Magdalene Centre over what Lance Armstrong said was money owed to him.
The Derelict asked how he could pay anyone who didn’t do any work and, anyway, didn't Lance get a flat bike tire and phone the Derelict who drove out with a whole wheel to fit onto the bicycle. Lance was
not amused and the argument both inside and outside the building was broken up
14 May 2015
Special note: The Vitamin Derelict says the wheel still hasn't been returned. 7 June 2015
Cross Church Sunday Meal
Holy Cross Church in Elizabeth provides a Sunday evening meal at the Food Barn
on Sunday 17 May. The ex-station cook told me they do it every third Sunday of
notice on the door of the Mission said it runs from 6:00 - 6:45pm. “Menu: Soup”.
It must be better than this.
The Mission Food Barn is at 91-93 Elizabeth
Way, Elizabeth, near the shopping centre.
Visit to Food Barn at Elizabeth
second visit was much nicer experience. It helped arriving at opening time
rather than when they were near closing.
same hamburger stew was served with roast carrots, pumpkin and potatoes. Tea
and coffee was available, but the urn is hidden and one must ask to be served.
is a clothing washing machine and drier in the dining hall and the joint is
meals are delivered to the tables. Sliced rockmelon plus oranges and avocadoes
were available hidden under tea towels at the front counter, but it wasn’t
clear if guests could help themselves or had to ask.
was one salt shaker for ten large tables, but no pepper let alone sauce. This
feature I found ruined the meal.
young pure white security guard watched over the dining room for twenty minutes
then left. He put a foot on one of the chairs when talking to a diner, but
otherwise was friendly and well accepted, and even acted as a host. The elderly
English staff don’t have the sophistication of those who work at Mary’s Kitchen
in Glenelg, but they’re kind and polite.
to be frank, the presentation and menu needs a major shake-up with the staff
perhaps receiving further training and encouraged to continue their wonderful
ex-station cook said the best lunch is served on Monday because the cook is an
ex-restaurant owner who wears “$20,000 worth of gold and diamonds on her hands.”
He said there are 150 diners on Mondays.
man was in a wheelchair. Another patron secretly put part of her meal in a
container for her dog. A 2-year-old white girl smiled happily at a passing pure
black 2-year-old. The sounds in the dining hall were of civility and kindness.
A sign said they offer emergency
assistance once every two months. To get a purchase card for Coles or the
little shop at the Mission one needs just a Health Care or Pension Card. One
man said the Mission shop is best because prices are one-quarter that of Coles.
To apply they require applicants to phone between 9:00 and 9:15am.
The Anglicare Mission Food Barn
Elizabeth serves lunch from
11:30am to 1:00pm Monday to Friday at 91-93 Elizabeth Way, Elizabeth, near the
shopping centre. Ph 08 8209 5400 or 1800 061 551.
14 May 2015
Food Bank Pop-up
next Food Bank Pop-up is next Tuesday 19 May - 10:00am to 12:30pm at the
Noarlunga Leisure Centre, David Witton Drive, Noarlunga, behind Wallis Cinemas.
includes Fresh Produce, Pantry Goods (processed foods past the use-by date)
Drinks, Free Sausage sizzle and refreshments. More details from firstname.lastname@example.org BYO bags.
move to Elizabeth
Sydney woman on Disability Support Payment who recently moved to Adelaide was
given just one piece of advice from her New South Wales friends. It was “Don’t move
Salt and pepper were
rationed for the Saturday evening roast beef meal at 277 Pirie Street. Desert
was banana cake and ice-cream. The coffee was excellent without any problems of
delivery though it still is not hot enough.
asked Grandma Margaret if they had a spare pair of shorts to replace his that
were full of holes in the back. He has hundreds of boxes of clothing at home, all
coded to indicate what they contain, but he’s lost the piece of paper that
The problem of
equity arose in the food room when there were enough 2-litre bottles of iced
coffee for the first half of the queue only. This inequality is what creates a pushy
atmosphere where the meek miss out, but how to fix it.
The Sons of Anarchy man
yelled and screamed as he fell off his chair slow motion and spilt his coffee
on the floor. He ran from the building not to return. Everyone lowered their
eyes to avoid his wrath having seen what he did in a fit of rate to one man
was late for the religious service, but in a clear mood. The Cockroach arrived
late from Mary Magdalene, but didn’t stay long.
Wayne the Piano
Teacher thought the religious crowd in the chapel was from Salisbury Gateway,
but wasn’t sure. Seventy people attended. Captain Matt Reeves joined the
ceremony. He initially kept one hand in his left pocket then later raised it.
The preacher was a
slick Latino man who reminded me of Christiano, a Suburu salesman from Eblens
in Brighton. The preacher said people should accept Jesus without delay. Christiano
said I should buy a Suburu without delay. Both said, “Act quickly,” but the
preacher didn’t say, “This one won’t last.”
John Swan went up
front for the healing, and for a moment in time the famous musician appeared the
little boy from Elizabeth South.
Lynn was at the back
of the chapel during the religious service. She kicked Piano Player Wayne from
her Bible class then herself was evicted.
The Bait Woman, who
claims to be Afghan, was sad while her granddaughter, dressed in Afghan
clothing, jumped about in childish enthusiasm. The Bait Woman didn’t do
anything crazy. She must have the flu. But then maybe she is just another human
suffering from an atrocious childhood.
Salvation Army Cadet
Ben Hollis, who teaches the Bible on Wednesdays, stayed in the background and
Piano Player Wayne
left his Therapy Cat at home because, “Pussy needs a rest.”
A man walked through
the main hall dressed in pajamas and a dressing gown, then laid back down
outside the back door on his concrete sleeping spot. He filled us with our own
shame. The sleepers are awakened about 6:00am. How can there be so many
bureaucrats in government departments and church charities employed exclusively
to prevent homelessness yet these 25-year-olds live outside, and some appear to
Lorraine was happy. So
was another older woman despite her incontinence having returned after surgery
Jo and other Army
people went to Hindley Street to pass out water to drunks, and to look for
The Vitamin Derelict
had a cramp in his leg. The Cousin said he might be taking too many vitamins. The
Derelict vigorously denied this.
The QuizMaster said
the sleeping room will open in June. He said they’re getting a bus for outdoor
trips. He said their aim was to help people discover their potential. The Pirie
Street Riot band is a glowing success.
out of jail
was taken away by a policeman yesterday because he broke an “apprehended
violence order” obtained by the Semaphore Mainstreet Association, which banned him from being on Semaphore Road, Semaphore.
aggressive begging and sleeping on the footpath after taking off his shirt so
offended the shopkeepers that they sought a court order banning him from the
Bruno ignored the court order.
Mitch has been banned from certain shops on Semaphore Road because he walks in
and interrupts employees serving customers with his jokes and overflowing
Bunting’s girlfriend doesn’t want to be referred to as John Bunting’s
girlfriend because she says she is no longer John Bunting’s girlfriend. They
broke up. Fair enough. 13
St Bedes Drop-in Centre 200 Military Road, Semaphore
The powerful blast of warm air from the heater in the
dining room was a pleasure for the crowd that had been waiting outside in the
Bacon, scrambled eggs and fried tomato were served with
toasted ham and cheese sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, breakfast
cereals, orange juice, tea, coffee, milo, and a plate of sliced fruits.
Takeaway was three cups of 2-minute noodles. The bacon was high quality with
very little fat.
Liz didn’t eat any tomato as she said it caused her to
break out in a rash. She was bare-armed in the cool weather, but happily got a dressing
gown and jumper from the free clothing area on the stage.
L. was mildly psychotic and has stuck a safety pin
through his nose. He has a generous personality and is the heart of the outdoor
tobacco smoking crowd, and welcomes new people unsure of themselves.
Safe Successful Sam wondered if his journalist father
was totally insane for wanting to go swimming this morning.
Janet said her husband, Bill, was very sick and that is
why he missed the footy tipping.
The young fellow who missed a flight to Western
Australia last fortnight for lack of I.D. is buying another ticket and wants to
work on a cattle station. How will he fare with 12-hour working days, six days
a week for $1000 plus room and board.
A new woman from interstate was looking for housing so
Julie and Jill sat down and told her of some options.
A well liked volunteer is having surgery on his foot tomorrow, thanks to
the nurse for speeding up his day in theatre by dropping the ping pong table on
his bad foot. She arrives at the crack of dawn and is wonderful at making
people feel welcome.
There wasn’t a word about the argument the previous
week over Piano Teacher Wayne’s Therapy Cat.
Bruno got a fresh change of clothing, and his used
clothing quickly found a place in the outdoor rubbish bin. He has become much more
communicative of late. As I was leaving a tense policeman walked in and later returned
with Bruno, who stepped into the back seat of the patrol car and promptly fell
J. has recovered from neuro-surgery without a trace of impairment. What miracles some surgeons can perform.
Good atmosphere is hard to qualify and quantify, but it
seemed that amongst the people at St Bedes during the two hours on Tuesday
there had been a high quality emotional atmosphere.
I hope I can be forgiven for writing about those at St Bedes and other places. I am documenting my experience of the underclass and homeless scene in Adelaide to contrast that written by welfare industry propagandists who are forced to lie to ensure their retention of government grants and private donations.
12 May 2015
The Pirie Street
Riot band performs at the Salvation Army at 277 Pirie Street, Adelaide next
Saturday 16 May at 8:00pm. Free entry. Free coffee and donuts.
The band is composed of
sensitive men and women from the “homeless scene” who like famous artists have
hit rock bottom then risen to the top through their own qualities of
understanding what is good. They are quite inspiring.
in the gravy
stuck her thumb in the gravy of a plate of food she grabbed from a man
whom she said had already had a meal. She rushed the plate back into the
kitchen where it was put into the food that was later distributed as takeaway food and collected
by the very man from whom she grabbed it. It was the principle that counted and
the spirit of equity though her diplomacy could be refined.
man who lost everything he owns except his clothing and household furniture,
and eats at Fred’s Van, says he visits a psychiatrist once a week to discuss thoughts
a happier note, Terry had a decent win and decided not to dine at Fred’s Van.
Instead, he bought King George Whiting, ten Porterhouse Steaks and a disk of Provolone cheese.
However, he quickly returned to
his habitual cantankerous mood after an even bigger win on the tables. Instead
of taking the cash and throwing it back on the table and losing, he accepted a cheque
then fumed all weekend waiting for it to be cleared. When I suggested he spend
the money on something nice for himself, instead of the Casino, his eyes went
On the northern side
of West Terrace Cemetery lies the notorious Wirranendi Park, where tribal
Aboriginals camp when they’re in town.
The government has developed
two ponds surrounded by reeds with gravel paths and a bitumen bicycle path than
passes through from the cemetery. Aboriginal-style carved rocks and bronze
animal statues dot the landscape in their tribute to the original inhabitants
Near Sir Donald
Bradman Drive there are seven or eight solid stone brick models of Aboriginal
humpies. Dense stands of newly planted indigenous trees and bushes offer
privacy for indigenous campers.
Yet one can't help
observing that the broad open spaces make police surveillance easier while the
constant traffic of cyclists supplement this with their own passive
surveillance. While I was in the tiny carpark a police car stopped and checked
my number plate. The road alongside the southern boundary is marked with “No
Parking” signs prohibiting parking after 10pm. And the solid humpies offer no
comfort to Aboriginals during wet weather.
One wonders is there
is a hidden agenda in this development.
huge cream coloured brick building behind the old Salvation Army hostel at
Whitmore Square is vacant because asbestos came creeping out of the walls and
ceiling. The Army moved the tenants to another building in Osborne, on the
Lefevre Peninsula, north of Port Adelaide, apart from Krusher Karl who moved to
prison in Western Australia.
Whitmore Square building will cost $3million to demolish and $2 million to
rebuild, but the Army is still paying off the Osborne building so redevelopment
plans are delayed.
and anger at Anglicare
a recent ceremony, Anglicare rewarded a group of long serving suburban
volunteers little non-personalised badges, which lacked the volunteers’ names and
cost about four dollars. The volunteers also received a cup of tea and some
biscuits. The paid co-ordinator got a car.
volunteer said it was a method of creating a “them and us” divide between the
paid employees and the unpaid volunteers.
this particular suburban Anglicare group it is the volunteers who arrive first
and leave last. They carry the weight of the service. Yet the paid employee is
also exceptionally energetic and sensitive, and is reportedly distraught about
the outcome. There is mutual respect.
force within Anglicare is trying to diminish this quality?
to 8:00pm Wednesday evening 6 May 2016
American said he asked Natalie the Nurse to get some Tuberculosis juice for TB
immunisation shots. He said he thought she’d laugh at him, but she didn’t. He
worries about people in the Adelaide homeless scene just arrived from up north
and who carry TB. Some strains are untreatable.
top quality barista coffee was served from 5:00pm. Usually they start with
instant and serve the best stuff after the meal. There was some confusion with
delivering it to the tables, but the service was much improved over last
Saturday. James the barista is the workhorse behind the scenes.
hamburgers were top quality with a slice of processed cheese, tomato and
lettuce with three types of sauce available. Afterward, staff heated stale buns
and donuts in the microwave to improve the taste. Even The Cousin liked them.
Cowboy yelled at a volunteer for moving chairs that were not supposed to be
moved. One doesn’t make mistakes around Cowboy.
stormed in the back door then thumped on the nurse’s door before going in then
returned five minutes later smiling like a little kid.
man who appeared just released from prison helped serve the meals. He didn’t
cause any trouble. Soon the message went about on our phones that he was Army
Divisional Commander Lieutenant Colonel Ron Clinch. After the meal his wife
wiped the tables. She has very clear white facial skin.
we left, the homeless people set up their beds on the front wooden verandah,
and at the back door on the tiles. The Benson Room might be opened for them in
was reportedly disappointed that most of the Crony Gang was missing
last Saturday evening in the Free Food Room. She thinks they take too much and
needs to make this point to them.
isn’t huge wealth in the Crony Gang and some of what they get is passed on to
others. Fair distribution has always been a problem in the underclass scene.
People become aggressive after months or years of being polite and passive, and
versus the Celebrity Can Collector
into the Casino last week The Cousin and myself noticed Phil the Celebrity Can
Collector sitting in front of the Casino. When we finished the ShowTime
competition, Phil had moved his bongo drum and enamelled cash bucket across to
the other side of North Terrace where Bruno also collected money.
runs a sophisticated operation these days and was even sitting on a chair.
took a different tack. He was sleeping across the concrete footpath forcing
pedestrians to walk around his feet covered in dirty white socks. A collection cap
lay next to his prostrate body. Bruno runs an around-the-clock operation.
Bruno, too, has lifted his game. He’s lost 30 kilos, had a shower, and uses “please”
and “thankyou” in his language. This is astounding if you knew the old Bruno.
in the short term Phil rakes in the money that fuels his pokies habit feeds his
stray cats. He lives in a shipping container surrounded by reclaimed material
and a dozen cats.
men are a credit to the human survival instinct.
City Casino has discovered a way of bringing children closer to gambling. The
front doors are left open and the guard is situated twenty-metres inside the
building. This allows the entrance to the Madame Hanoi restaurant to be open to
children who can hear the ShowTime gaming machine contests where a hundred old
white men and Chinese and Filipino women shout and laugh as they try to win a
few dollars on the free gaming machine. It must sound glamorous and exciting to kids
having a meal ten metres distance with their parents in the restaurant.
man with a Platinum Card has had his unlimited free meals access limited to
drinks only as he hasn’t been losing enough money lately. He cashed in his
superannuation early and instead of getting $100,000 he got just $80,000 that he
sunk into the Casino. But to keep the Platinum Card one must continuously lose
large amounts of money. The man pawned his DVD player with Cash Converters and
eats at places like Fred’s Van alongside a dozen other SkyCity Casino patrons.
Christmas hates clothing pegs
Christmas told members of the Crony Gang that he will no longer move carpets
for the Vitamin Derelict due to his own work load, which includes washing his
requires extra time because he lays his washing flat to dry because of his fear
the clothing pegs will leave indentation marks. An exception is handkerchiefs each
of which requires four clothing pegs: two to hold it onto the clothing line and
two dangling from below to stop the wind rolling it around the line.
Christmas is no fool.
The Anglicare Mission Food Barn Elizabeth
Monday to Friday free lunch runs from 11:30am to 1:00pm at 91-93 Elizabeth Way,
Elizabeth, near the shopping centre.
Thursday 7 May they served boiled potatoes and a hamburger stew plus salt, but
no pepper. Also, chocolate milk, but no tea or coffee.
young woman washed the dishes while three old girls cooked and served the food.
A young man picked up the dishes from the tables. What struck me was the kindness
inside the room.
guest told me he was buying a car, but was waiting for the battery to be
charged. A woman with Parkinson’s Disease, whom I recognised from seven years
previously, offered Val, the cook, a dollar for a cigarette. Val said, no, and passed
her a smoke.
12:30 either Val or another cook made eye contact with each of the remaining
guests and asked if anyone wanted seconds.
invalid scooter parked in the hallway was plugged in for charging. A board
listed the names of volunteers who had served five years or more, with
photographs of the longest serving people.
a uniformed security guard watched the cars.
Correction: There are tea and coffee, but the urn is hidden behind a wall and guests must ask for a cup. 14/5/2015.
Therapy Cat in more trouble
the QuizMaster reluctantly told Wayne that he had been asked to tell him to
remove his cat from the table at Pirie Street on Wednesday evening. Wayne could
still keep it in the building. Bob is usually very polite and maintained this
quality as Wayne is Army royalty.
Terry falls out of bus
Terry fell from the front steps of a bus last week. He
rolled about on the ground then got up and fell over again, this time breaking
his glasses. He yelled at the driver for not parking close enough to the kerb.
The driver closed the door and drove away. Terry complained to the bus company
who showed little interest in his complaint.
5 May 2015
Casino ShowTime Results
A can collector and soup kitchen patron won $2000 in
the ShowTime finals on Saturday night. Hong Kong Jack, who was seen as a
favourite, was knocked out early. So was Eric. As was the Swedish woman who won
one of the heats, and was later slagged off by that fat woman who goes to the
The can collector winner was seen hours later with his
legs sticking from a rubbish bin, collecting cans.
Of the $100 ticket draws: Stockbroker David got four,
Andrew the Derelict got five, Barry got three, the Platinum Card man’s
girlfriend who works at Coles got one, Terry and myself got zero. We were all
happy except Terry.
5 May 2015
St Bedes Semaphore
There was clash when Piano Player brought his Therapy
Cat into St Bedes this morning. Unlike Mary’s Kitchen and the Salvation Army
they wouldn’t tolerate it and after loud arguing Wayne left. The staff had an impromptu
meeting and decided that Wayne can’t bring his cat in the building, and that it
is a companion animal and not a therapy animal like a Guide Dog.
Maybe it was just me, but there was tension in the air
similar to last night at Mary’s Kitchen. Someone said it was the full moon. One
man from Semaphore Hostel, a good-natured fellow that puts most people to shame
for his kind nature, said his psychiatric medication created a feeling of
drowning and that he’d dreamt last night of being a pilot.
Bruno arrived and shocked everyone. He’s lost 30 kilograms,
had a shower and used the words “please” and “thankyou”. Instead of scabbing
smokes from others he gave one volunteer, who was broke and hadn’t had a good
smoke for 24 hours, a tailor made cigarette. Whatever way you look at Bruno he
is an exceptional human.
Sharon won the football tipping results.
5 May 2015
Mary’s Kitchen Glenelg
Anton the Ice Man’s face was bloated and purple from “Ice”
and other drugs, and from sleeping in concrete shop doorways. He propped open
the outer door of the Mary’s Kitchen hall with a chair then went to the closed
area of the clothing shop and loaded garments into his wheeled suitcase,
essentially stealing them.
After having a bowl of soup and sausage sandwich he
dished out a few words to Jeff as he left the hall. Jeff ran behind him and
there was savage punching. Jeff returned unfazed and sat down. He said no one endangers
his children. Anton didn’t return, but Adam the Preacher sat down with Jeff.
Meanwhile, Wayne the Piano Teacher used eight teabags
and filled his one-litre cup with hot water then attracted some critical stares
when he provoked his Therapy Cat into scratching him.
At the food counter I asked a woman if her name was
Lyn, as displayed on her name badge. “No,” she said. She told me her real name
was Mair and that she’d left her name badge at home so was using Lyn’s.
Meanwhile, I thought I saw Lyn in the kitchen and shouted hello, but it wasn’t
Lyn. It was Di. I asked Di for another bowl of vegetarian soup and she put it
in the microwave. After five minutes she shouted that there wasn’t any more
vegetarian soup and would I like the meat soup. Judith told her she’d already
put the bowl in the microwave. “Is she going senile?” I asked, then later said
sorry. Di laughed and said she had broad shoulders.
Meanwhile, Ben told Walter he was an animal and Walter’s
face went red, or it might have been Walter calling Ben an animal.
At another table the ex-Telstra Christian was happily
remembering the good days when he lived fifty metres from a swimming pool used
As we left, Piano Player Wayne put on a hat that
resembled a Swiss woman’s hair.
5 May 2015
Army Saturday 2 May 2015
A dozen regular
guests were missing due to the ShowTime finals at the SkyCity Casino.
The meal was bad
according to The Ghost Who Walks. The Bait Woman challenged
Piano Teacher Wayne about his Therapy Cat and said she wanted her dog allowed
inside. He said that if she got the paperwork it, like he had for his cat, then
she could bring it inside.
When the Bait Woman
threatened to complain he said, “Who would believe someone who steals cutlery
from agencies?” She gave him a long look so he said, “Do you want me to repeat
The Bait Woman
complained to Captain Matt Reeves and others, but gained no traction so she
left. Wayne is still sick from the affects of chemo-therapy and he left early,
A man visiting from
Sydney arrived about 8:00pm after visiting the Mary Magdalene Centre in Moore
Street. He plans to become a priest in Mother Theresa’s Order in Calcutta. He’s
already spent over a year there at a leprosarium, and also time in Africa, and
said the training will take about ten years. About 10:00pm he quietly said
goodbye and returned to the backpacker joint he was staying at.
The Drug Addict (not
the Homeless Baby Faced Drug Addict) was talking slightly crazy because he hadn’t
been on drugs recently. He told an Army worker they should not allow anyone to
give alcohol out in the laneway to the alcoholic woman who lives outside. It
wasn’t doing her a favour, he said. He said the Army people are here to “talk
to us, and pray for us.”
Like the Army man he
was talking to, some of the most knowledgeable and compassionate Army people
are actually those still fighting their addictions. To allow a situation where
The Drug Addict can make contact with his better self is a rare skill.
There was confusion
at the coffee bar when the volunteers brought in pieces of paper with orders
without names or table numbers attached. This left a confusing array of filled
cups blocking the counter.
The usual procedure
is to place an order at the counter where one’s name is written on the empty
cup. James the barista became so overburdened he locked the kitchen door.
Co-ordination of volunteers is crucial.
Out in the hall, Bob
the QuizMaster began a new game called Who am I? This was even more popular
than his usual Quiz.
The goddam 10:00pm
pizzas weren’t cooked enough. Some weren’t even hot or crisp. The array of
chocolate donuts wasn’t displayed in the cabinets. The kitchen needs a
knowledgeable co-ordinator. The ping pong table wasn’t brought out. They began
packing up too early. Still, it was a brilliant evening, and the only one of
its kind in the CBD.
at Equity Bend
came close to getting kicked out of the Salvation Army on Market Day just 72-hours
after her two-month suspension had ended.
officials initially denied entry to her on her invalid scooter due to doubt whether
the machine could negotiate the sharp curve of Equity Bend. This is the curve
of the U-shaped line of food tables. Margot said she wasn’t able to stand up
long enough in the slow moving queue.
was too sick myself to make further observations, but they came to a compromise
and Margot filled a couple of bags attached to her scooter.
it was an interesting legal issue. Was the tightness of Equity Bend and the
difficulty of it being negotiated by someone on a disability scooter discriminating
against a disabled person? Whatever the legal issue there was a compromise and
everyone was happy.
may see a day when aged homeless people are using invalid scooters and when it
will be expected for charitable agencies to provide undercover charge points.
Sachs of the Red Cross
man living in the Parklands told me of Jodie’s advocacy with the Homeless
Prevention Unit of Red Cross. He said she marches in to the Housing Trust and
demands action for her clients who live outside, or are about to end up living
man from New Zealand lives outside, but cannot collect welfare benefits until
he’s been in Australia for ten years. He doesn’t throw around complements gratuitously
so this praise of an advocate is exceptional.
Case of the short grass
minor issue shows the intractable nature of the Anglicare bureaucracy.
number of tenants at an Anglicare administered group of retirement units in
Elizabeth were unhappy about the lawn mower crew. They cut the grass so low that
the roots and bare ground were exposed, and this every two weeks in the blaze
of summer. This was after one tenant painstakingly watered the ground to turn
the yellowed roots back to green. The cost of the water and grass cutting are
paid indirectly by the tenants.
least one tenant, an 85-year-old woman who does most of the gardening, avoids
contact with the owner of the lawn mowing business since an incident where she
asked him to stop poisoning the shrubs she had planted. His reaction resembled
that of a bully intimidating an elderly woman. The tenants, aged from 63 to 90,
stay inside their units when the grass cutting crew arrives.
asked the foreman to cut the grass less close to the ground ― a simple request.
Despite his reputation the reaction surprised me. He said he wasn’t going to
allow me to interfere with his contract with Anglicare. I warned that I might
complain to Anglicare, but didn’t. Nevertheless, the Anglicare housing manager,
Rhonda Callaghan, was at my door the next day. “Can I come in?” she asked.
inside she said she was investigating a complaint the grass cutter had made
against me. Against me, what complaint? She wouldn’t explain, but said he’d
phoned her and she was here to say that he was doing a good job, and the grass
would continue to be cut every two weeks close to the ground.
wouldn’t have taken her any effort to tell the grass cutter to raise the blade
so the grass would stay above a certain height, like the foreshore area at
Glenelg, or around the military graves at the West Terrace Cemetery. But the
issue with Anglicare was not the grass. It was whether the tenants had the
right to expect that their simple aspirations would be shown respect. The
answer was, no.
shows the intractable nature of the Anglicare administration with its imperative
to show tenants their views over such a simple matter as grass won’t be
considered. And these people are disabled, elderly and affirm.
source within the homeless scene has said the South Australian police will
remove all tents, bedding, clothing, cooking utensils and personal effects from
the south Parklands on Monday, 4 May 2015. 3
Mark of the Derelict
Church groups hand
out quality scarves and beanies to their clients. It is a means through which street-wise
people identify each other. Wearing one is also an effective means of
establishing one’s underclass credentials with observant employees at other welfare
agencies. Wearing one is also a secret status symbol of lawyers and doctors who
volunteer at charities.
2 May 2015
nature of betrayal
activity officer Deidre Knight’s invitation to the residents of the Laura and
Alfred West units in Elizabeth initially seemed innocuous enough: Armchair Tai
Chi classes at the Midway Road Community House in Elizabeth East. Gold Coin
donation. Tea and biscuits.
But something didn’t
seem right as the tiny classes had more welfare industry employees making up
the numbers when they should have been doing something useful. They claimed to
be monitoring the increasingly unenthusiastic participants, most in their
After one class the
biscuits and tea were kept back in the kitchen until the arrival of welfare
bureaucrats and two State politicians, Tony Piccolo and Lee Odenwalder, and
The three participants
left in the class were outnumbered by the nine bureaucrats, politicians and
When I argued with
Piccolo about the Housing Trust, Deidre Knight intervened and told him that I
was her client. That was new to me. She and the two minders then began taking
pictures of me next to Piccolo, for his Facebook page, and for Anglicare promotional
Deidre Knight then
ostentatiously handed me some leaflets from Helping Hand that were
inapplicable, but the act of doing so felt insulting and humiliating. It felt
like a calculated multi-layered betrayal.
case of the missing cream buns
Cousin was disappointed there weren’t any cream buns last Saturday evening at
the Salvation Army in Pirie Street. So he sneaked around the building and
spotted the volunteers secretly eating them in the coffee shop.
dilemma for The Cousin
Cousin buys top brand cat food by the hundreds of cans when it’s on sale at
half price at Coles. But after his last huge purchase, for which he hi-jacked a
community bus to transport it home, his cat decided it no longer liked that
type of cat food.
The Cousin is giving his hundreds of cans to The Ghost Who Walks for the cat
that lives at his house. And then The Cousin is buying a variety of other
brands to see which one his fussy cat will tolerate.
Australian,” the white-haired derelict yelled at an Asian man talking on his
phone in front of St Andrew’s Church by-the sea in Glenelg. After badmouthing a few more Asians for having
too many children he went to a liquor store and bought a bottle of wine. That
put him in a better mood, but not Sarah.
a spirited white woman from Cairns who told the derelict that she didn’t hate
him; she just hated some of the things he does.
the church, the Rev Adam Tretheway was moving about on crutches after breaking his ankle
When Adam told a joke with a question before Grace,
the orderly from the Kennedy home for the dying at Largs guessed the correct
I left early to get back to the Sky City Casino for
the 8pm ShowTime game.
30 April 2015
Church free coffee lounge
Tea and Coffee
to 2:00pm Monday to Friday Back
of the Pilgrim church 12
Flinders Street, Adelaide
St Bedes this Tuesday
There won’t be the usual
soup kitchen at St Bedes Hall in Semaphore this Tuesday 5 May, only. The Hall
is being used for another purpose.
Everything will be
back to normal the following day, Wednesday, 6 May. 30
Vitamin Derelict’s Carpet Past
“worked” last week for the Vitamin Derelict sorting out his carpets. Father
Christmas says the Derelict’s living area has to be seen to be believed. It makes
The Ghost Who Walks’ house, where the bedrooms are filled with car motors that
leak oil, look well-ordered. He says the main room of carpets is bigger than
the main hall of the Salvation Army in Pirie Street, and has rooms leading from
it. There is also a rented storage unit full of junk plus a loaded shipping
They initially made
space outside the warehouse by cutting down trees using a ratchet device that
resembles a bolt cutter. It cuts through thin trunks in two chomps. Father Christmas
was outraged when the Vitamin Derelict nearly cut off his finger. Later, after the
Derelict handed Father Christmas a piece of sharp metal to look, he pulled it back
and nearly cut Mr Christmas’ finger, again.
They spent the
latter part of the week re-arranging carpets though the first day was spent
talking about what to do. Once the work began, Father Christmas liked the way
they built the rolls of multi-coloured carpets into a mound resembling a
Christmas was injured carrying the huge rolls of carpet and cannot continue. He
says there is a lump the size of a golf ball on his shoulder.
There is also a
question of payment. The Derelict wants to pay his employees in WestCare
lunches. He also says he can’t pay Father Christmas money because his employee
won’t say how much he wants. Father Christmas says he’s too busy, anyway,
because he has his own stuff to “sort out”, which also involves making more
space by cutting down trees.
Christmas out of action the Vitamin Derelict is asking both the ex-taxi driver
and The Man from Peterborough to help.
There is unlimited
work available moving the carpets back and forth, and then back again. The
Vitamin Derelict was previously a carpet dealer. When he broke up with his
second wife she said he could keep all the bloody carpets.
“You have to see it
to believe it,” Father Christmas says of the warehouse full of carpets.
“Trock” was going to
sneak into a movie, but before doing that would visit to Big W to steal a pair
of trousers. He got a speeding ticket for $400 recently, but said he isn’t
going to pay it; he’ll let it go through the legal process and build up into
the thousands then claim poverty and have it wiped off.
He says what is life
worth when he doesn’t have a job, and he’s renting, and he might just step in
front of a tram.
The big room at the
Salvation Army was full when the fire alarm went off. There wasn’t any smoke,
but some began yelling, “Get out, we have to get out.”
So, like good robots
the room was cleared. Ten minutes later, a fire truck arrived and firemen filed
in. One carried an axe while the others wore oxygen tanks. They spent ten
minutes fiddling around with the cabinet near the front door. While this was
happening two men came back in, but one of the older Salvation Army women yelled
in a most ugly way to get out. They had gone more than half way through so one
said they’d leave through the back door ― it was closer ― but the elderly
Instant Nazi yelled, “No, go back,” to the front door.
Some people wait for
a crisis ― real, or imagined ― to allow them to vent their little Nazi Personalities.
And why do the rest of us believe sirens and alarms: shouldn’t we instead make
our own observations and act upon them.
Blind Welfare says they can’t transport a blind man
from the Port Adelaide area to Gilles Plains because it is out of their “catchment”
area, but there is no problem delivering one of their blind charity collectors
to the Foodland at Semaphore.
Similarly, Royal Society for the Blind (RSB) ignores
another blind man in the Port area because he lives too far from their building
in Pirie Street. An except was last week when they took him to an information session
where they tried to sell him a voice activated phone-sized internet device that
he says is so limited it is worthless. He said their only interest in him was to
make a sale, but they ignore him for their other activities. He says the
internet is virtual communication whereas being in the same room with people is
Meanwhile, there was a fire at Mandeville Supported
Residential Facility in Semaphore last night. A lounge caught fire and damage has been
estimated at $60,000. The suspect was kicked out immediately, but returned two
hours later when he was grabbed by the police and taken to Cramond psychiatric
ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Previously, he was held responsible for
another fire when curtains caught light. He seems a very reasonable and polite
29 April 2015
More on the death of Cameron
Cameron James Allen from the Cottage Kitchen in Port
Adelaide died last week from organ failure complicated by cancer.
Cameron had a kidney transplant 22 years ago and a
side-effect of the anti-rejection drugs that compromise the immune system is an
increased risk of cancer.
Cameron was seen on a bus just the week before his
death. He had been a student doing a Communications Studies degree at UniSA at
Magill and was widely respected for his outspoken sarcastic humour and lack of
There is a large amount of unhappiness at the Cottage
Kitchen and other places from his death.
29 April 2015
A note at the Salvation
Army in Pirie Street informs the reader they haven’t any more swags, but perhaps
Hutt Street Centre have them. Or the Adelaide Day Centre.
I phoned a suburban
Salvation Army about whether they offered swags. The woman on the phone was
deliberately vague and said the routine was for applicants to phone at 9am to
grab one of the limited appointments for that day.
The vagueness is
designed is to deter professional grabbers who do the rounds of charities and
get stuff that more desperate humans should get. But it also adds another hoop
of humiliation and is a deterrent for those who don’t have a phone.
This vagueness also
creates misery for those genuinely desperate who are shunted from one place to
another by social workers who don’t actually know where specific resources can
be obtained. Even worse by a nasty breed
of social worker who hate particular people for sexual, ethnic or personal
reasons, and deliberately torment them in their period of desperation by
shunting them around the city and suburbs.
The Incredible Ajay
Ajay was at the Salvation Army last night collecting
petition signatures asking the government to keep open the Daw Park Repatriation
General Hospital. He was bulked up
in preparation for another night sleeping outside with his classy girlfriend.
He was talking about the
disadvantages of places like the Hutt Street Centre accepting government
funding for employment services when the criteria of the funding might actually
exclude most of the people who go to Hutt Street. Ajay has an analytical mind.
At 44, he said he has trouble
gripping objects with his right hand after years of vibrations from industrial equipment
and machine guns.
He is a New Zealand army
veteran of 13 years, with three tours of the Middle East, but can’t get
unemployment benefits because he is from New Zealand. So, he lives outside on
The Vitamin Derelict
told Lance Armstrong that the modern plague of Alzheimer’s Disease was doctor
induced and that the culprit was reductase inhibitors,commonly known as Statins, which reduce blood
cholesterol. The Derelict said the brain needs cholesterol and reducing it to
unnaturally low levels was causing premature senility.
The Ghost Who Walks said
he was alright because his cholesterol had zoomed to 10 despite using the
Statin drugs that made him sick. The Cousin said that he couldn’t get into a
hospital cholesterol reducing study because his was too low at 3.1.
The Derelict, who smiles
when he speaks, explained to The Cousin how Vitamin D was important while Lance
Armstrong said that artificial Vitamin C was nearly useless.
26 April 2015
The Cousin looks
like he’ll fire up his Soda Stream after B. got caught stealing from inside a
BP On-the-Run. They caught the act on CCTV coverage and told B. that if he
ever comes back they will call the police.
This means B. has
to give up his outside duties of getting Diet Coke from the rubbish bins, which
he gives to The Ghost Who Walks in return for strange loans. This means The Ghost can’t trade the Coke to
The Cousin for cat food bought from Coles in a dozen cartons when it’s half-price.
This means The Viking, who lives in The Ghost’s house, and who collects cans
from city rubbish bins, will have to discover another way of feeding that
easy-going cat. This is the cat that
hangs around the rubbish in the back yard that The Ghost is in dispute with the
Unley Council, and spending thousands on a lawyer against them.
Even worse, we’ll have
to listen to The Cousin tell us how his Soda Stream brew tastes as good as Diet
Coke when we all know it tastes horrible.
Why couldn’t B.
have stuck to the rubbish skips and not gone inside the BP On-the-Run?
falls out of ring
The pleasant old
woman with long grey hair who goes to Fred’s Van, and whom spends most of her
income at the Casino, played the ShowTime game last week. It’s a free game
where everyone wins two to ten dollars for a minute of playing.
She is a completely
subdued woman whose speech consists of a few whispered words. Her playing of
ShowTime was equally timid and she came last.
But in the next game
she was caught up in the excitement and began pounding the screen of the
machine to get better results. The force of her blows knocked the diamond out
of her ring. Luckily, someone saw it fall and retrieved it, but now she is
facing a $175 bill to have the diamond reset.
Housing for old people
ECH operate 1600
units in Adelaide. They’re a career enhancement vehicle for its bureaucrats
that operates ostensibly as a benevolent organisation. They use words like
“respect” and “integrity” on their promotional material, but want copies of
personal bank records from people applying to rent units. They also discourage
late night visitors, or friends staying overnight, thus creating a semi-prison
retirement village atmosphere that restricts people to being involved with
government-funded ECH activities, thus isolating them from their friends, and
giving ECH more control over the lives of the renters.
Beware. What begins
with good intentions can devolve into something different without anyone being
conscious of the change.
A generously vibed Australian first year medical
student handed out scarves and beanies last Saturday night. The beanies fitted well and looked as if they'd been made by Knitters for the Homeless and had a distinctive design that allows the homeless to identify each other in different parts of Adelaide and the country.
Bek was wrapped up
for another night outside. She was anxious and angry. The Cockroach was whining
that someone took his apples. Margot was chilled from riding her invalid
scooter. The Walking Man and the man who looks like Bradley Murdoch’s brother
were there. One volunteer said there were too many volunteers and nothing to
do. Good. She responded to the situation and spotted a man in silent desperation.
The orange gazebo was set up in the area used by those living outside. The
American made a fool of himself excessively questioning whether the lasagna contained
meat. The answer was no. It's this sort of pickiness for which William years before received his nickname, Silly Billy. But it's people like Silly Billy who make the charity joints maintain high standards.
Gary yelled at a man for suggesting his surname was
Rankine. The light rain and cooler weather filled many with anxiety. Someone
said the queue for takeaway food was the longest he’d ever seen it. The old man
who helped return the folded gazebo back to a shed has multiple university
As the doors closed and the lights were turned out the homeless crowd made their way to their cold and wet secret camps, in a city with plenty of government welfare houses sitting empty.
Food Market Day
The next free food day
begins at 9am on Friday 1 May at the Salvation Army, 277 Pirie Street,
There is street parking in
front of the building until 8:45am then it gets a little difficult and you
might have to go behind the building on Wakefield Street, or over to Hutt
It pays to get there by
9am to avoid the huge queues. By 11:30am it is nearly finished. The coffee and
pastry shop is open during this period. Everything is free.
That mysterious and
kindly nurse, Natalie, will be giving free flu shots at the Salvation Army on
Saturday 2 May 2015, probably starting about 7pm. She’s a real professional and
it doesn’t hurt, hardly at all.
Big Kelvin, who relies
on a walking frame, had a heart attack a few days ago and is recovering in the
Royal Adelaide Hospital. It was gauged as 6 out of 10 in severity so Kelvin will
happily live and return to the Saturday night Pirie Street scene in no time.
When Helping Hurts
Members of Uniting
Communities Glenelg are reading a book called: “When
Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and
Yourself,” by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. These are people
who want to make human life better.
"When helping hurts..." in Adelaide
I hope a few in
Uniting Communities can apply the principles in this book to the Adelaide
derelict scene. I didn’t like that church member at Mary’s Kitchen last
Christmas who kept talking about the “Bag of Love” they were giving to “you
people”. And I had no use for a magazine about model railways. Nor did anyone
else there have any interest in toy railways. The only person I know who is
interested in model railways is an old man in Elizabeth who just got out of
jail for underage sex.
24 April 2015
Exclusion in Action
If you visit
the Adelaide South West Community Centre at 171 Sturt St, Adelaide you might
notice that it is either empty or full of Chinese or Arab people. Fair enough,
they have to go somewhere.
But what is
unusual is that despite the building being within 400 metres of St Lukes, the Magdalene
Centre at Whitmore Square, the St Vinnies Night Shelter, the Salvation Army
Sobering-up-Centre and the huge WestCare complex there are very fuel
underclass, homeless-style people using the place. And this type of Adelaide
City Council library/ community centre is just the place favoured by the
underclass. But they don’t.
You can feel
the chill when you walk in: strained smiles, “can I help you”, and computers
facing the wall with desks behind them where Asian women sit and monitor what
the client is accessing.
It’s another taxpayer
funded “service” with a secret brief to welcome certain people and exclude
others, based on ethnic and socio-economic standing. You can feel the fear and
loathing in this place.
23 April 2015
the powerful sex industry
Youth With A Mission (YWAM)
missionary Rachel from Missouri and others from YWAM visited some of Adelaide’s
brothels to teach the prostitutes English,give them gifts and help them find other employment. She said they were
made quite unwelcome by management at one brothel.
Information from another
source shows that some Asian women working in the “sex industry” are slaves who
indebted from the extortionate amounts charged by their pimps to bring them to
Australia. Their families in Asia are threatened with harm if the young
prostitutes try to escape.
There must be bribery at
the top levels of state governments to allow this to happen, or at least
collusion for the benefit of the tourism industry.
23 April 2015
Chris, the retired
high-level IT advisor in the Attorney-General’s department, and from an
Australian-Asian Christian church said that if he could have his life over
again he’d study medicine and try to cure every disease known to humanity, and
learn to fly a plane, skydive and climb Mount Everest.
He asked one underclass
client what he thought of Hillary Clinton then wished he hadn’t.
Grandma Margaret ’s
daughter, Jo, and three others, including the nurse, left at 9:30pm for the
West Terrace cemetery area, with food for people living under the trees. The
Quiz Master said it was to show those camping that they weren’t forgotten.
Margot stayed away
because it was raining. She is banned until Wednesday 29 April 2015. It is
painful seeing her sit on the footpath, or even on the street, on her scooter
in the darkness while the able-bodied people sit inside.
It is also painful
seeing the grey-faced homeless men sitting patiently waiting for everyone to
leave at midnight so they can go to bed on the verandah while the carpeted
Benson Room sits empty. If the premier homeless organisations in Adelaide allow
their unused, empty rooms to remain empty at night while the homeless men sleep
outside then how can they expect people to donate money to “house the homeless”.
Parkinson Malcolm sat
outside in the cold by himself. Piano Teacher Wayne left early as he’d left his
Therapy Cat at home.
The loopy drug addict
woman, a tragedy in the making, was raging against whomever. The blond drug
addict man who lives on the verandah was pacing the hall in a state of anxiety.
The YWAM crowd was
preaching in the chapel before they came out and dominated the ping pong table.
Just as the white folk don’t understand why the Aboriginals drift away, the YWAM
people don’t understand why the underclass and homeless people have drifted
away from the ping pong table.
Christopher Cane sang
and played the guitar and discussed blues music with Lance Armstrong. Tom, the
quiet old man, is going to Tasmania to see if he can find a place there to
The big surprise of the
evening was The Ghost Who Walks. He said the meal was substantial and well
Fire Truck Wayne out of jail
Fire Truck Wayne (not Piano Teacher Wayne) has been
sprung from the slammer, but is in hiding, even from Rosalie, his mother.
It is said that a certain gentleman wants to talk to
Fire Truck Wayne over a forged signature. It seems that Fire Truck Wayne’s area
of expertise, other than phoning fire trucks and ambulances, is forging others’
signatures on financial documents.
With luck, Fire Truck Wayne has been rehabilitated by
the Department of Corrections and will regain his position in society.
22 April 2015
Secret Dentistry Rules
scattered around homeless and welfare joints advertise free dentistry with
senior dental students from Adelaide University at the Common Ground building
at 73-79 Light Square, Adelaide.
until you phone them on 8205 1618.
Last week one
employee told me the dentistry was only for those who don’t have a government
health care card. This excludes nearly every low income person.
I got past
this hurdle by telling the receptionist how I loathed homeless joints because
they were so dirty and inhabited by drug addicts and criminals. This proved to
them there was something wrong with me, and so I gained my qualification for
their free dentistry.
is by getting a referral from a nurse at the Hutt Street Centre or Westcare or another
organisation recognised by them.
gained treatment by telling them he used to be a heroin addict and worked
during the day as a boilermaker and at night as a house breaker, and sold the
stolen property at Cash Converters.
To be fair,
these dentists are trying to exclude the professional welfare recipients who
know how to “work the system”, and include those for whom the system doesn’t
work. For example, my housebreaker friend has an extreme fear of germs and dental
22 April 2015
baby-faced drug addict
heavy-set homeless drug addict with a bandage on his elbow sleeps on the
verandah of the Salvation Army building. Last night he was shouting near the
coffee bar then stomped around the corner as the rest of the diners looked
away. His blue eyes and blond hair and heavy step give him a dangerous
appearance. No one wants trouble. He disappeared down the hall way then hid in
the disabled toilets for half-an-hour until QuizMaster Bob knocked on the door
and he opened the door, his eyes dull and soft as he walked from the building.
acts like a dangerous baby, whining that he needs warmer bedding while walking
around in shorts and a tee-shirt. Most men living outside grimly head for the
parklands or riverbank at nightfall; they don’t whine about the cold and wet.
Cockroach behaves badly
“She missed me,” the
Cockroach complained when the waitress walked past him with a plate of food.
He’d already eaten, but wanted more.
“Get out of my way,” he
says, to the always helpful and pleasant Indian semi-derelict woman who speaks
unclearly, but from whom he gets much information on free food. Like the
Trinity Church, St John’s Spiritual, Bethlehem, St Stephens, you name it, she
knows about it.
But she is at this
moment of no use to him and is blocking him from the passing waitresses. It
isn’t that th Cockroach needs more food; he is already fat, but like many
people he suffers from Food Neurosis and can’t get enough and always feels
insecure that he isn’t going to get enough. About one-quarter people in the
homeless and underclass scene are like this.
The Cockroach gets
another plate then spends fifteen minutes complaining that it is overfilled and
is leaking onto his trousers and even “inside my shoes”.
He has two deserts, but
hears about ice-cream and begins a pitiful wailing that he wants ice-cream. The
Ghost Who Walks has got a bowl and gives it to me, but I don’t want it so I
give it to the Cockroach.
The Ghost is beside
himself with anger: “Don’t give it to the Cockroach; he’s the Cockroach,” but
it is too late and the Cockroach eats the ice-cream as if nothing unordinary is
And is the Cockroach
satisfied after this? No, he is a well-spoken urbane man, but harbours a bitterness
that he always “misses out”. Someone with “food neurosis” is never satisfied.
Rude Rhonda Callaghan of
Anglicare evicted a woman from her Laura and Alfred West Cottage Homes
Incorporated two-bedroom unit in Elizabeth South because she married a younger
man, according to her neighbour.
Anglicare said the woman
was too young, anyway, to be living in the units, but it was them who rented it
to her in the first place. The woman was fifty and the units are usually rented
to those over 55. However, there have been others living there under the age of
fifty who were not evicted.
deaf mute 50-year-old man, “R”, lives in a Residential Supported Facility and
visits a church soup kitchen once or twice a week. He was making angry sounds and
gesturing wildly last week to the priest at the front counter. This wasn’t
unusual, but then he did something that prompted the priest to tell him to get
out. I didn’t see what it was.
left then came back thirty seconds later adopting an apologetic demeanor, but
the priest shouted, “No”, and pointed to the door, and walked away from the
the volatile soup kitchen enforcer quietly passed a plate of toasted ham and
cheese and tomato sandwich to “R”, just as the priest turned around and passed
“R” a glass of orange juice.
might be schizophrenic or perhaps suffers headaches because he often clenches
his head. It might also be his difficulty in negotiating life. He understands
some sign language and some written language. He communicates with the priest
through writing words on paper across the soup kitchen counter. Six months
previously he wrote, “Are woman used for sex?” The priest doesn’t like this
sort of discussion. It also showed the mental dilemma “R” is in at fifty years
There was consternation
in the hall last Wednesday evening at the Salvation Army when numerous Quiz participants noted a mistake in the latest “Do Unto
Others” leaflet. It read: “This
Friday Night Bob’s back!” then in the next sentence, “The Quizmaster is in the
house, this Saturday night.” You can’t fool the Quiz participants.
There was also anger,
both genuine and feigned, when Bob said that evening's Bible Study had been cancelled.
It means so much to two men who live outside.
There will be Bible
Study next Wednesday at 7:30pm, upstairs, in the inner sanctum.
Hospital and government
office clients repeatedly read signs saying verbal abuse against staff won’t be
tolerated, but are there signs behind the counters saying that staff abuse of
clients won’t be tolerated?
The soup kitchen
pensioner client who pays for monthly eye surgery in Africa through the Fred
Hollows Foundation also does unpaid work in a nursing home. He said Centrelink
called in a 2nd last stage Alzheimer’s victim for an interview. When a nurse
said the man was nearly dead the Centrelink bureaucrat wouldn’t admit the
mistake and repeated the man must attend an office or payments would be
stopped. Eventually, it was sorted out. But it was the attitude that left the sense of distaste.
of the Beast
A source says that
WestCare is moving towards introducing a form of government surveillance where
customers are encouraged to pay for lunch via CentrePay and the Basics Card,
and where WestCare only reluctantly accepts cash.
Why the Munchiez
food van closed down
The Edwardstown Baptist Church Munchiez food van
that served sandwiches in the parking lot outside the Salvation Army building
has ceased operation. It has been gone for some time: I just found out. It was
organised by the Edwardstown Baptist Church. Shortage of volunteers was the
Failure of preparation
and mentoring of volunteers could also be the reason.
I remember the sneering
looks they gave Brian and Melissa who arrived in a shiny car. It was a few
years old, but it looked new. The sneering faces of the volunteers seemed to be
inwardly asking: Why should people with a good car come to a soup van?
Brian had had five heart
attacks and dozens of surgical procedures for a bone disease; he was in
constant pain. Melissa was depressed and committed suicide a few months ago.
They were unhappy and used the van as a social venue. Others were teenage drug
addicts who slept the winter nights amongst the furniture and clothing dumped
outside the Salvation Army store.
Robert Skewes was also a
Munchiez client before doctors cut off his legs. Robert was famous for having
lived four years in the Mathew Talbot hostel in Potts Point in Sydney, and for
helping dig a hole to bury two victims of the anti-paedophile vigilantes known
as the “Bodies in the Barrows” killers.
The volunteers often outnumbered
the clients and stared as if we were freaks at a zoo. And despite their numbers
they could manage to heat the coffee water beyond tepid, nor cover the bread
with margarine before squeezing it over slices of wet tomatoes. There were
continuous complaints of food poisoning, as well.
Arrived at the scheduled
time was a frequent problem, but on other occasions they got there so early
that they finished up when they were supposed to arrive. We’d arrive and they’d
be driving out. Sometimes they didn’t even bother turning up.
They weren’t all
useless, though. A group of elderly women arrived regularly on-time with
home-cooked meals and deserts. They performed wonderfully though were often
disappointed at the low numbers of clients.
Neil Ryan and others had
good intentions running the food van, but needed to run it professionally. The
volunteers should to be trained to engage with the clients, to make decent
sandwiches, to learn to provide boiled water and perhaps watch a situation
carefully before passing judgment. Management needs to ensure appropriate
supplies are available and that each group that helps is clearly told of their
The most important
factor they should remember is their social and pastoral mission that must
accompany the physical supply of food.
17 April 2015
Sky City Casino
Cousin” won ten dollars worth of points on this first try at the “Showtime”
gaming machine. It was free to enter and some sort of promotional gimmick and
now he’s hanging round the Casino for as long as the promotion continues.
a cultural shock to move from Fred’s Van after a fight, and after seeing the
desperation of the customers, to the sleek atmosphere of the Casino where staff
greet Fred’s Van clients by their first name.
fascinating aspect is observing impeccably dressed young men and women trying to
understand how we shabbily dressed homeless-style people can so relaxingly sit
amongst the pomp and glitter.
are accepted because our group is a mix of shrewd ex-homeless misers who take
advantage of Casino promotional offers, and our addicted friends who pay the rent
then throw away the rest of their pension on gambling then hang around the
homeless joints until next payday.
we don’t allow in our group are the predators.
Christmas” said he counted 87 people at Fred’s Van one night last week. He said
he counted each second person then doubled that number plus himself. He said he
counted with his eyes as no one appreciates pointing fingers.
says those at the back of the line often miss out on part of the menu and end
up having to take sugary buns. “The Cousin” said of the buns: “I don’t take that shit; it’s all stale.”This is true. Sections of the sugary buns have
often dissolved into glue like that which school kids used to use.
Christmas ate six meat pies at the Salvation Army one night last week. He eats the
inside only saying the pastry is “rubbish”. No wonder he looks healthier and
walks better than nearly everyone else despite being one of our older
husband’s Gout getting better
You could hear Margot’s old
red-eyed husband yelling as he shoved the younger, stronger bald man who
sweats, and whom last Saturday told Piano Player Wayne that he shouldn’t have
his Therapy Cat on the dining table, out the door.
Margot’s husband has
courage, (Margot wouldn’t have anyone less), and it was to the credit of the
bald man that he didn’t harm the old Gout sufferer.
Nash House for the Criminally Insane
The good natured man who
in 1989 at the Wright Court Day Centre tightened his hands around my throat and
said, “I’d kill you if I could get away with it,” walked through the front door
of the Salvation Army building last night with his trousers at his ankles. Even
Mike McAleer’s friend laughed at that.
That loopy drug addict
white woman yelled at Max Smart and Ajay while they were eating then went onto
the verandah and screamed some more. Max looked decidedly anxious while Ajay
weathered the storm and let it pass. She’s a pleasant woman,
usually friendly, and keeps herself in good shape, apart from being in the
process of destroying herself. A bit of a tragedy.
Last month I drove a neighbour from our Laura and
Alfred West Cottage Home units to the Royal Adelaide Hospital where he
underwent a melanoma biopsy. (Tests later proved it malignant.)
Whilst we were away, Rhonda M. Callaghan from the Elizabeth
office of Anglicare, who administer the units, used office keys to enter our
Rude Rhonda’s visit wasn’t simply to inspect the units
to determine if repairs were required, but to see if we made our beds, washed
our dishes, mopped the floor, left articles strewn about, and to examine the
intricate details of our lives. She determined both units were dirty and
required further cleaning.
So what was the problem with this? Well, Rude Rhonda was
doing a lifestyle inspection as well as a building inspection.Anglicare now believes it has the right to
monitor tenants’ lives and give instructions for change despite this not being
part of the tenancy contract.
During other inspections 25-year-old Anglicare
employees have given unrequested lifestyle instruction to sixty-five-year-old
men and women. This bureaucratic intrusion reduces a person’s sense of
self-mastery and self-respect, and to add insult to injury it is the tenant who
pays indirectly for this humiliating inspection.
Anglicare is taking advantage of low-income tenants who
have nowhere else to go. The heart is dying.
15 April 2015
How the Chop Shop survives
An elderly man told me he visited a warehouse in Sydney
last year where men were crawling like monkeys over vehicles they were
disassembling. In one corner of the building was a store of chop-chop, illegal
tobacco. There seemed to be little security or secretiveness about the operation.
“How could this be?” he asked his guide.
The answer the man was told was that the criminals who
operated the business were protected by the police in exchange for performing
law enforcement work the police couldn’t touch. They beat up or even killed
people pointed out by the police.
This is what the man told me.
15 April 2015
Liberty Life Soup Kitchen
Tuesdays 6:00 – 7:30pm
Three clients from Mary’s Kitchen joined 25 others at
the Liberty Life soup kitchen yesterday evening.
The soup kitchen was started last November by former
Mary’s Kitchen worker, Luarna, who said she worked on the idea for a year after
getting a message from God. She said one should act from inspiration instead of
from a desire to do a good thing.
Luarna and her crew served soup and buns then gave away
Tim Tams, fruit and Baker’s Delight bread. The preacher rang a bell before
saying Grace then during the meal rang it again to announce that Leurna would read
an inspirational passage from a magazine. The bell began to annoy me when he
rang it a third time to say there was plenty of bread. The flat screen flashing
inspirational messages annoyed me, too, as did a man who grabbed six packets of
I was the only “real derelict” there, but there was
some guy in a mechanised wheelchair so that was a good sign. There was also a
frightening twenty-year-old Chinese mechanical engineering student who seemed part
of the congregation though had the personality type of an assassin. I imagine
that whether she kicked me in the balls or not would have no discernible effect
on her mood. She was no humble Asian.
Liberty Life Soup Kitchen is ultra clean though they haven’t
yet achieved the smooth routine of Mary’s Kitchen. One client was impressed by
the other clientele saying he liked the fact they appeared not of the type from
which you would expect a knife fight, like the one at the Mary's Kitchen Christmas party three years ago.
Luarna is on the right track.
Liberty Life Church, 121 Morphett Road, Camden Park
15 April 2015
Cameron from the Cottage Kitchen in Port Adelaide died
this week from organ failure. Cameron had been a popular figure at the Kitchen
due to his sarcastic wit, and the inspired attitude of hope from which he
approached his life despite suffering atrocious health for decades due to a childhood
accident. He will be sadly missed even by those to whom he had minimal contact.
14 April 2015
hits the deck
meals at WestCare were free last week until Friday because Heather, the cook, fell
on her ass and was off for four days. This meant no roast on Thursday, but all
was well by Friday when she returned.
customer said the food at WestCare isn’t the same when Heather isn’t there.
according to rumour, Brenda at Hutt Street wants to kick out anyone who
criticises her culinary excellence. She doesn’t care if anyone complains about being
crunched together around the tables too closely for comfort, but won’t hear a
word about her half-cooked rice that causes people to choke.
that that discouraged business. While Heather was down and out Hutt Street was
busier than usual. 13
Private Life of Mrs Telstra
Judith Telstra’s anxiety overcame her paranoia last week. She couldn’t restrain
herself and had to tell her story to MP Rachel Sanderson.
Telstra bought a strata title unit in a “very good” area of Burnside after
receiving compensation for losing an eye in a car smash.
problem is that the neighbours are persecuting her. A particular woman
regularly phones the Burnside Council health officer claiming there is the
smell of rotting vegetables coming from Mrs Telstra’s unit. Another strata unit
owner, the office holder, has chained Mrs Telstra’s green bin to the back
have broken down her front door and attacked her unit in various ways. She
called the police on many occasions. They advised Mrs Telstra to increase her
security, but she won’t. She said they will break in, anyway.
Telstra is beside herself with anxiety yet she is unable to find the space in
her mind where she can analyse the situation then provide the remedy: throw the
rotting food and other items in her bins then put them on the street for
rubbish collection. Who will object to that?
needs a focus for her anxiety so she creates a situation to justify it: the
neighbours are furious with her; she isn’t imagining it.
can help Mrs Telstra?
Stream of Consciousness
Ghost Who Walks wasn’t even in a good mood after spending a fortune on his
not-so-useful $500-an-hour lawyer fighting the Unley Council over a few dead
cars on his property, but still complement the roast beef and potatoes at the Salvation
Army last Saturday evening.
The Bait Woman was in a good mood queuing up at the food room door after pushing
her way into the line. There wasn’t any food, but she came out with an armful
of used clothing that she’ll never use.
couldn’t resist telling Wayne the Piano Teacher that his cat wasn’t allowed in
the building. Wayne told her it was a registered Therapy Cat and he had the
papers to prove it. (The undercurrent is that The Bait Woman knows that Wayne
and others know that she steals cutlery from St Bedes Church in Semaphore.)
organisation for the evening was a shambles. The YWAM mob were younger than
usual and monopolised the ping pong table then formed their own affinity group
while Cowboy packed up the chairs, most of this by 9pm. This marginalised the
marginalised for whom the evening is presented.
from St Louis, Kentucky and Daniel from Denmark were YWAM exceptions. They
played Scrabble with Maria the singer, and the two black-haired brothers, one
of whom was a Jehovah Witness preacher for ten years.
Disease Malcolm exercised subtlety through his slurred speech and jerky
movements while conducting his verbal jousting in which you don’t know whether you’ve
abused a disabled man or whether he’s lured you into a conversational trap so
you’d get tripped up by your own conscience.
Vitamin Derelict gave advice on vitamins while Lance Armstrong arrived late
having spent time downloading from NASA space probes data that he will analyse
over the coming weeks.
Arab-looking man who lives outside spent the evening reading the Bible and
making notes. He no longer says hello to anyone, but is friends with fellow New
Zealanders “Max Smart” and “Ajay”, both of whom also live outside.
coffee barista went home at midnight, but came back into to the city at 3am for
sheela’s camp raided
“skinny sheela’s” group were evicted from their Adelaide CBD parklands camp. The “skinny sheela” was
unhappy the police got her bong. The police also forced the Aboriginals out and
they have moved into the “skinny sheela’s” new area.
“skinny sheela” isn’t some ruined drug addict, but a woman who finds herself
living in the parklands, as did people in the 1930’s depression who lived in
humpies along the Torrens River. She maintains a vibrant presence and her
speech is 95% upbeat. She left Google back at the new “squat” as Mary Jane is
A dissatisfying conversation with Liberal Member of
Parliament Rachel Sanderson
I asked Rachel in the Pilgrim Church hall on Easter
Sunday what she was going to do about the houses and units kept empty for years
on end by the Housing Trust. She said she was the shadow Minister for Housing
and all she could do was bring it up in Parliament, and it was the media that
could make it a big story. She didn’t mention that it was MP Robert Brokenshire
of Family First who exposed the situation through a Freedom of Information
She switched the conversation over to my personal situation
and suggested I rent privately or from the “community” housing organisations.
She said there was a rental subsidy called “Rent Assistance”. She also said she
would advocate for me at a personal level.
That’s the problem with bureaucrats and politicians; they
think the underclass focus on their own personal situations only, and lack an
interest in the larger state of society.
What I wanted to know was what she will do, if she
becomes the Minister of Housing, about the Housing Trust houses and units deliberately
kept empty, but she didn’t want to talk about remedies.
I also told her about the secrecy and paranoia of the
Housing Trust, but gained no traction in the conversation. Why couldn’t she
pressure the Housing Trust to publish statistics on the allocation of housing
to various ethnic and religious groups, to gay tenants and to women so as to
show the process is fair.
But she moved away from me and found her anchor with Mrs
Telstra, who continued her tale of woe from where she’d left off half an hour
was the third church Rachel visited that day and had one more to go to.
“meat glue” served by the Salvation Army give the skinny sheela with the dogs
source within the Salvation Army has informed this column that the chicken
schnitzel served at the Army’s Pirie Street building is bound together with
“meat glue”. The source says off-cuts of meat are mixed with transglutaminase.
is the enzyme known as “meat glue”, which partly digests the structure of meat
so that pieces melt into each other then re-form as one piece, making the bits
look like a solid slab of steak or roast or a huge chicken without legs.
“meat glue” powder is mixed with off-cuts then compressed and kept in a fridge
for a few hours until the pieces form into one larger portion. “Meat glue” is
dangerous enough to require the use of face masks to prevent it from gluing
together the air passages and lungs of the butchers using it.
danger for the consumer is that with normal pieces of chicken or beef the outer
edges that usually contain the bacteria are killed in the cooking process when
they directly face the heat. With “meat glue” products these surface bacteria
are bonded within the giant piece of chicken or beef, and in the baking or
braising process don’t face the higher temperatures and thus are not killed.
They may even breed during this cooking process and when eaten by humans cause
gastro-enteritis or “food poisoning”.
at the Salvation Army frequently complain the chicken schnitzel is visibly pink
and not cooked adequately. I’ve seen it myself, but had always thought the
complaints of food poisoning were fanciful.Perhaps they are not. Perhaps the chicken did “give the skinny sheela
with the dogs gastro.”
11 April 2015
The Food Ministry
Church (ECB) distributes free food on Thursdays from 10 - 2pm on the corner of
Dorene Street and Rothesay Avenue at St Marys. They also issue vouchers for
8276 1040 for more details. 10
Housing Trust demoted me from Category 1 to Category 2 after I knocked back two
inappropriate, at least to me, housing offers. I’ve been on the waiting list
since March 1998.
the Shelter SA Homeless Connect Health and Housing Expo 2014 in Whitmore Square
a welfare worker passed out fridge magnets. On one was written: “If you are
elderly and feeling insecure about your housing. Please ring 8406 8227.” That
is me so I rang.
housing advocate based with the Salisbury Council met me at a pensioners’ joint
called the Grenville Community Connections Hub. I signed papers
giving her the right to make enquiries about me at the Housing Trust, now
called HousingSA. She said the permission I granted her was to the Housing
Nothing happened until one day she rang and said she’d
forwarded my personal information to Unity Housing. I told her I was unhappy
about this so she said she would rescind the information, or something like
A few days later she phoned and in a little girl voice
told me she’d forgotten to rescind the information, but that Unity had a
two-bedroom house in Seaton that I could look at. She said she could go there
with me, if I wanted. Against my better judgment I told her I would look at it.
Also, that I didn’t need her to go with me. She said she’d get back to me with
I thought she’d phone back in an hour, but after two days
there still wasn’t a response so I phoned her and in a distant voice she said
she’d emailed Unity for the address, but they hadn’t emailed back.
This seemed a lame excuse. Shouldn’t she chase up the
address? Her voice tone and excuse told me it was all over. A decision
somewhere had been made that wasn’t in my favour. There wasn’t a unit for me to
look at. She wasn’t going to be my advocate. No reason would be given. I
wouldn’t be hearing from her again. And I didn’t.
So, what was the final result? She had passed personal
information about me to a private organisation without my permission. Unity
doesn’t have a Freedom of Information policy so I will never know how much of
my personal, medical and financial information went to them.
Unity has become very successful in recent years
acquiring 1000 houses and has become a career vehicle for its management team
including Mathew Woodward. Unity’s success relied earlier on the patronage of
social inclusion bureaucrats David Waterford and Monsignor David Cappo, both of
whom were forced to withdraw from their positions after protecting child
welfare and South Australia state government welfare is a nasty game riddled
with unscrupulous bureaucrats. And there isn’t a complaints mechanism. The
process of housing allocations is secret to prevent an evaluation. Even the
honest and well meaning bureaucrats are compromised and thus corrupted.
the 110,000 bureaucrats in the South Australian public service isn’t there one
person who will expose the welfare housing corruption? 10
Church gathering of the poor
again bad communication between the organisers and the customers resulted in
only the “old hands” turning up for the Easter Sunday event that began at 4pm
rather than the usual 5:30pm. Flyers and a few phone calls might have attracted
a more desperate crowd as those who attended were ex-homeless and not now quite
as desperate as those still hiding amongst the bushes.
it was a sleeping bag and canvas cover were carefully laid out on the cold
concrete under the back verandah, a testament to the decency of the Pilgrim
Sam slept on a nearby park bench, never having regained his vigour after his
last stroke. Another man gestured wildly while holding a box cutter knife while
slicing up cardboard boxes for the rubbish bin. Ice Lady Robin floated by
looking like a pin-up model for methamphetamine abuse. Ben, an associate of the
Crony Gang, noted somewhat sarcastically that he recognised some of the crowd
from the other haunts.
Bible reader who lives along the Torrens River was there, but many were across
the street waiting for Fred’s Van, as if they didn’t know about the Pilgrim
Teacher Wayne (not Fire Truck Wayne) played soft tunes on the old piano until
he was rushed to a medical clinic by a church member.
five hairdressers were crunched together under an open-air verandah. They’d
begun work before 4pm. The back foyer of the church would have been far
superior in which to work.
were from Parlour Hairdressing from Jetty Road in Glenelg and Miss Coiffure
Hairdressing from Hindmarsh Square. A Swedish woman from Miss Coiffure cut my
hair and gave it plenty of time and care; it wasn’t a rush job like you’d
expect from welfare. She said their usual prices are $57 for men and $77 for
of the food was finished in the main hall by the time many had received a
haircut. What was left was full of sugar, but it was of high quality like the
huge homemade vanilla cake made with Belgian chocolate. The coffee was
excellent though the coffee maker fella couldn’t keep up with demand because
the machine was a domestic model.
quality of the food was excellent and nearly as good as the Christmas meal at
the Uniting Communities building in Pitt Street.
some of us were just sitting down the volunteers were already slamming chairs
and tables together as they packed up. This seemed a mistake going to such
personal effort and expense to stage the event then spoiling it by treating the
guests like animals gulping down a bowl of dog food?
Member of Parliament Rachel Sanderson wondered why they were serving such a big
meal at 4:30pm. The answer was that the volunteers had other commitments and
the timing was to suit them. One person who works at another church group said
this was an insult to the clients.
the hallway the volunteers gathered together for their photograph while outside
the hairdressers gathered for another one. What beautiful generous women. The
man hairdresser from Parlour Hair stayed back and in the semi-darkness finished
two more haircuts including the Chinese man who nipped across to Fred’s Van and
almost missed the haircut.
Parlour man didn’t rush the job, but carefully did his best in the encroaching
darkness as if he was being paid top dollar. It must have been difficult
cutting hair in the cold and bad lighting.
Telstra earlier told him she had a good opinion of Italians and that two of her
neighbours were Italian. There had been some clenched mouths.
6pm it was all over.
with all this criticism was it a good evening? It was excellent though there
were too many volunteers with not enough to do. They should have worked on two
shifts with those that weren’t in a hurry to run off doing the second shift.
hairdressing without lighting and done outside was an insult to the
professionals giving their service for free. It should have been in the church
we left two men stood across Flinders Street smoking cigarettes. They were
patient. I know that patience. They were waiting for everyone to leave so they
could return to their sleeping area behind the church.
Arrive at 5pm on Thursdays at Hindmarsh Square opposite the RAA.
client was parked in a disabled parking spot which receives a fine of $382. I
was in a normal spot so we switched as I have an invalid permit.
cross buns, boiled eggs, green cordial, salt and pepper, bananas and apples
served at 5:15 when customers picked up a ticket. Rice, chicken, curry and
fried vegetables served in plastic containers with high quality paper napkins
and plastic cutlery at 6pm.
gave my chicken to Don while The Ghost Who Walks gave his whole meal to The
Viking who said that if he were Prime Minister he’d stop the dole and pension.
He said he had a spare bicycle and bags and would train me to collect cans from
Ghost said numbers were down because last week an Aboriginal charged in and
wanted to fight anyone who wanted a fight. He attacked the tall man with long
ginger hair and romper-stomper boots. Then a drug addict screamed her way
across Pulteney Street and joined the crowd.
black fellas and the black fella women weren’t at Fred’s, Magdalene or Jasmine
this week. Many might have been called
back to the outback for funerals. They suffer from the stares at “soup kitchens”.
Their presence also sends a shudder of fear through the white crowd when they arrive.
But, generally, the tolerance and mixing between the groups is superior to that
of non-racist white and Asian bureaucrats who preach tolerance, but avoid
Aboriginals like the plague.
church volunteers appreciate being able to serve us the Jasmine Restaurant food
and themselves always seem in a fresh healthy mood.
Hairdressing at St Bede’s
Davids cuts hair from 9 - 10:30am at St Bede’s Church Hall in Semaphore, near the beach, every fourth
Tuesday. He was there last Tuesday 7 April so his next appearance will be Tuesday 5
May. He sometimes stays later than 10:30 if there is increased demand.
thief smashed a side window of his car at a hotel last week, but Jill and Mick
from St Bede's wrapped clear wrapping around the door to keep the wind out until
he gets it fixed.
Sorry, I thought I recognised you
the Salvation Army Market Day “Terry” and his wife caught the train to Gawler
to have a picnic in that nice park near the shopping centre.
delightful picnic was destroyed, according to Terry, when they found the
biscuits were too far past the use-by date to be pleasant to eat. The
strawberries were partly rotten, too, Terry later complained.
it was nicer than their last visit when a photographer from the Gawler Bunyip
Newspaper saw them sitting on the grass and wanted to take a picture of them because their appearance would enhance
the theme of bunyips and gnomes living in Gawler.
talks as if his facial cancer is terminal. Maybe four months left to live. He
has been becoming more erratic and desperate. He looks much less well than six
months previously, to say the least.
Special School Margaret says he is quite a nice man. Others say the same. He is
often confronting, but always retains a sense of rationality and lacks any
sense of sadism or revenge despite his situation.
carries a swag and must be living outside as the rains begin.
real reason the 1085 good quality Housing Trust houses are kept empty is that
it is cheaper to keep them empty than to rent them to homeless people at
welfare rates. The secondary effect is that these empty buildings will be degraded
by vandals and scavengers by night, and thus make it easier for the government
to justify knocking them down. The Tasmanian government did the same thing
twenty years ago.
is happening in South Australia because there are no effective complaints
mechanisms. The politicised Housing Trust has responded to the publicity about
these 1085 empty houses by saying they will re-categorise them so they are no
longer empty houses; they will be added to the already large category of “housing
awaiting sale”. Still empty, of course.
reduced public housing stocks the demand for each remaining house or unit has
intensified. The government has responded by employing hundreds of arbiters of
political correctness. This new crowd of bureaucrats rent housing to those in “deserving”
social groups while other people living outside are vilified as having “multiple
complex personal issues”. The process is done in absolute secrecy with even
non-government housing organisations like Common Ground and Unity being
reluctant to let their offensive application forms out of their offices.
private rental industry is helped by this situation as government housing kept
out of the market increases demand and weekly rents.
their way to their secret camps, and with swags over their shoulders, those
living outside pass the darkened windows of buildings where by day well-paid
bureaucrats and advocates plead their cases to various housing agencies. At 5pm
these benevolent bureaucrats lock the front doors and go home.
those they try to help by day shiver under tarps during the night these
bureaucrats’ offices, store rooms, kitchens and covered parking areas sit empty
and dry, just as they are every night, most weekends, during Christmas
shutdowns, and over public holidays.
is the society we live in from the point of view of people living outside.
8 April 2015
"Pussy" defeats Bait Woman’s Chihuahua
Teacher Wayne’s Therapy Cat stalked the Bait Woman’s Chihuahua dog at St Bede’s
Church Hall today.
defense of the nasty little dog it has been beaten down and never wags its tail
or runs about. Nor will it respond with kindness, but sits fearfully outside on
the cold concrete.
it must have thought it had the upper hand against Piano Teacher Wayne’s small
white six-month-old cat, that is, until “Pussy” circled the dog and followed
its every gesture so the nasty little creature knew it couldn’t emulate The
Bait Woman bullying behaviour.
the human front, one member of the St Bede’s staff is keeping an eye on the
Bait Woman to see if she steals any more knives and forks.
Military Road, Semaphore Free
Breakfast: 8:30 - 10:30am Tuesday and Wednesday
The mood rose at St Bede's when a long-serving volunteer returned from the Royal
Adelaide Hospital after successful surgery. There had been a cloud of fear hanging
over the place, but now that she is fine, everyone shows their relief by
pretending it was merely a small matter.
One man at St Bede’s is considering having half his stomach chopped out in an attempt to lose
weight. Suffering with a deadly heart condition, this would be a desperate move to
save his life, and is more serious than gastric banding.
Rotary Club delivered a new ping pong net as the combined efforts of the staff
and clients at St Bede’s were unable to assemble the other new one though at
the Salvation Army they achieved limited success with their new net by inserting
two spoons in the posts.
who begs for money on North Terrace, across from the Railway Station, was
reported either dead, or in hospital or in jail until seen walking down Semaphore
Road with his pants half down. He arrived at St Bedes on Tuesday singing a
song. It was nice to see him.
Tuesday at 9:30am there is the usual monthly meeting where special foods are
brought out to encourage attendance. The meetings are occasionally interesting
as the people who attend St Bede’s tend to be interesting people.
news from St Bedes is that The Bait Woman is achieving success in building
up her cutlery collection. 8
Grandma Margaret up to her old tricks
told two members of the Crony Gang at the last Salvation Army Market Day that
they should leave the queue as they’d been through before and others were still
coming through for the first time.
was technically correct. Of the fifteen people behind the Crony members about
four or five were here for the first time, but the others were going through
for the second or third times and were not told to let the newcomers go in
front of them.
Crony members aren’t particularly greedy, but are adept at getting what they
no one got much Lipton iced tea as Margaret had opened the packs and was
limiting the amount at three cans. She wasn’t going to let “The Man from Peterborough”
defeat her though he wasn’t in attendance after her humiliation of him last
month. It’s bad enough to be seen by passing traffic lined up on Pirie street to
collect our “Ration Packs”, but to be shouted at from the verandah to bring
some of it back was too much for “The Man from Peterborough”.
for all the criticism of Margaret it was she and the Army volunteers who packed
up the tables and cleaned the floor while the rest of us left with our booty.
is difficult to achieve, and administering it doesn’t make anyone popular, and
for that reason Margaret is a quiet heroine.
not a few people had a good laugh when a cubic metre of Lipton Iced Coffee was
wheeled back into the storeroom.
The American, Father Christmas and Anonymous
tent was set up in the parklands ten days ago. It remained there the next day,
but on the following day one or more parties took it down, neatly wrapped up
and put it under a tree.
cords of the poles were cut and missing, the tent was ripped.
was put back up the following week and two days later was flat on the ground.
The wind might have blown it over.
is a campsite in the parklands where the trees grow large, near a public
toilet. Blankets and backpacks appear strewn across the area large enough for
half a dozen campers. One person stays on guard, his or her back facing the
area from which the campsite can be seen.
doubt these campers have good times; this is an adventure, but for the veterans
it must be a repetition of a dozen previous experiences the end result being
moved on by authorities, the process involving discovering at night when you
return that your bed has disappeared during the day.
With A Mission (YWAM)
Armstrong was saying YWAM moved from their Norton Summit property to a block of
units in Elizabeth after the owner let Teen Challenge use the place for its
drug rehabilitation program.
YWAM missionaries devote a portion of their lives serving others using Jesus as
their guide post. They are highly intelligent and high functioning men and
women, mostly in their twenties.
have them amongst us isolated traumatised aged underclass survivors adds a
refreshing element to the Saturday evening at the Salvation Army.
do they understand that we are the vehicles through which they attain God?
Can Collector’s Regrets
met in 1981 in Bowden, part of a forty strong crowd of Squatters in a dozen
Department of Highways houses left empty.
Can Collector, whom I'll call Tony, with his jet black beard and hair even then towed a trailer
behind his bicycle. He’d grown up in an orphanage and for years tried to get a
job with the Adelaide City Council, but his lack of education and work history
and a small criminal history precluded him from getting what would have been
for him a dream job.
Highways Department offered to sell the houses to the Squatters. They offered
Tony the Pickering Street, Bowden house for $27,000, where he was
in 2015, the Can Collector, after his first heart attack, wonders if he should
have bought the house. He brings up the subject each time we meet, quietly, as
if questioning his fleeting life, and what would have happened if the Adelaide
City Council had hired him, and whether supplementing his invalid pension by
retrieving metal and plastic from rubbish bins had been his only option, the
Collector Bluey asked Phil, the Celebrity Can Collector, now a busker near the
Casino, whether they’d met before. Yes, they had, at Glandore Boys Home in 1953
from where both boys had graduated to become collectors of cans and reclaimable
material from rubbish bins.
was sent there when he was deemed, as a uncontrollable seven-year-old. He
remembers during his incarceration being sent to the Children’s Hospital where
doctors stuck “toothpicks” through his testicles. To this day he doesn’t
understand why they performed this procedure.
later claimed compensation for abuse, but couldn’t explain his case in the
manner expected by a court so he got just three or four thousand dollars, much
of which was reclaimed by Centrelink. He’d wanted $250,000 so he could open a
pizza shop in Murray Bridge.
won’t talk about his life at Glandore, but Commissioner Ted Mulligan wrote of
another boy put in Glandore Boys Home:
One night, not long after his arrival at Glandore,
the boy woke in his dormitory bed, vomiting. A male staff member led him to the
shower block. The child, desperate for affection, was grateful when the man
offered to dry him with a towel. "I thought he was helping me because no
one had dried me before except my mother and father," he told Mullighan.
Then the man told him to bend over and hold on to a bench. After anally raping
the boy, the man told him: "Only sooks cry; stop crying you bloody sook."
From The Children
in State Care Commission of Inquiry
asks a policeman to use his hanky when coughing
was waiting for a bus last Wednesday in Adelaide when a man near him coughed. This offended
Terry’s sensibilities and in an aggravated tone of voice, due to childhood
throat surgery, he told the man to use a hanky.
man was offended and told Terry he was a police Sergeant and demanded Terry’s
I.D. Terry said he wanted to see the man’s police I.D. first. The Sergeant
obliged and Terry showed him his I.D., but asked why the Sergeant wanted to see
it. The answer was that the Sergeant suspected that Terry was going to get into
trouble later that day.
was offended and went to the police building in Grenfell Street to complain
about the Sergeant’s rudeness.An officer
told Terry to “Get Out”. Terry then went to the police station on Wakefield
Street where another officer told him to “Get Out”.
was angry recounting the experience, but had to laugh about it.
Telstra calls the police
Jan pulled up in front of the Salvation Army in Pirie Street at 4am last Market
Day. Jan is in his seventies and lives in his truck. He put his shopping bags
in front of the main door to stake his position then got back into bed and
Judith Telstra arrived at 6am surprised to discover that this month she was
relegated to number 2 in the queue. She fixed that situation by shoving Jan’s
bags aside. Problem solved except that Jan was looking at her front his truck.
He jumped out and shoved Mrs Telstra’s bags aside.
Telstra called the police. A female detective and a male uniformed officer
arrived and questioned the antagonists separately. Mrs Telstra wanted Jan to be
arrested and complained to the police when they took her picture. “You always
take my picture,” she said.
police said Jan had no case to answer and left.
the doors opened at 9am Jan quickly got some groceries and drove off to park in
a secluded area to take his prescribed medication that leaves him unable to
drive for a few hours.
Telstra got some groceries, left her domestic shopping trolley in the hall and
crossed the street with two cups of coffee, spilling them as she jogged, and
was almost hit by a car, as usual.
are both incredible survivors.
a big crowd last Thursday evening, maybe sixty customers despite the sausages
and bread, and ham and cheese sandwiches supplemented with vegetarian curry and
rice. The Ghost Who Walks couldn’t praise it enough saying it beat Russell’s
canned fruit and fruit juice were given out, but the pushing and shoving made
it difficult for the polite and meek to get these items. (Where was Grandma Margaret from the Salvation Army
when we needed her?)
were chocolate Easter Eggs, pissy little things not worth picking up except for
one that was larger than a baby’s head. The man with the pink sunglasses got
this and spent the next twenty minutes telling everyone who would listen.
“Vitamin Derelict” said how he tried to help Mrs Judith Telstra with her
anxiety, but said she has been overcome by it, she is trapped by it, unable to
escape. We talked about activated Vitamin B12 and Folate and Folinic Acid and
are going to use it.
wasn’t a hint of violence.
to Friday 7pm Sunday
Monday and Saturday5
Member of the South Australian Parliament Rachel Sanderson arrived through the
front door of the Salvation Army building in Pirie Street last Saturday evening
dressed in tight black pants that emphasized the curves of her buttocks. Instead
of taking the quick straight path through the building she weaved her way
through the tables past Kelvin and Piano Teacher Wayne, past the Bait Woman,
Cowboy and fifty others.
reached the back door and stepped outside with camera clicking to capture Legislative Council President and Labour
Member of Parliament Russell Wortley leaning over a metre and half diameter wok cooking Paella, a Spanish rice and pasta
in a pink witch’s costume was Russell’s wife, Labour Senator Dana Wortley, her
face and aura streaked with ghastly black lines and blotches from exhaustion.
She was also snapping pictures of Russell, her terrible face transformed when
she smiled at either myself, an anonymous derelict, or in response to the
battle cry of Rachel’s camera capturing her husband’s image.
was a lonely scene; three politicians sticking out like sore thumbs. The
homeless and underclass crowd are not generally friendly to newcomers and it
takes months, even years to be accepted at any level.
and Rachel, to their credit, are seen reasonably frequently in the homeless
scene, and for Rachel, in particular, it isn’t always an easy encounter. She
visits without an entourage, and usually alone, and visibly tenses before
entering a room of homeless people, but with a strained smile works every table
in the room, few of us hearing a word she says because of the noise and our own
degrees of deafness.
their credit these politicians did turn up, and hopefully, Rachel has revised
her crazy idea of housing people in the homeless scene. She suggested to me a
year ago that those living alone in Housing Trust units should move in with
others to form multiple occupancy homes. If she knew the “sociability” levels
of underclass people she wouldn’t have suggested such a logically correct, but
impractical plan. But she has courage, this frail woman with the strained
paella didn’t feed everyone as he burned the bottom layer so Salvation Army
staff russelled” up some sausage and
peas to meet the demand. Russell’s biggest success of the evening was to
introduce a new word into the homeless vocabulary: paella. The Ghost Who Walks has
been using it in every third sentence for the past six days days.
Old and Restless
Disability Information Resource Centre in Gilles Street went broke last
December and has been replaced by the Restless Dance Theatre.
Defeated white folk
Here is the real reason the Sunday gathering of homeless and
ex-homeless humans was shifted from the old Adelaide Central Mission building
in Pitt Street, now known as Uniting Communities, to the Pilgrim Church in
The Maugham Church white congregation had been devastated
by changes in Biblical interpretations and the number of regular Sunday
attendance was little more than a dozen souls.
The old Adelaide Central Mission had been emasculated by
merging it with Uniting Communities, and replacing church professionals with
politically correct government-paid mercenary-style employees, whom some of the
white congregation, in their private moments, saw these new employees and
church officials as lesbians and aggressive men with high-pitched voices.
The church hierarchy initially allocated the reduced
white congregation to Tuesday or Wednesday mornings.
Since the Maugham Church had long been associated with
the Adelaide Central Mission in the same building, the free Sunday meal for the
The problem arose when the security guard on the
“mission” entrance of the building kept the meal clients waiting on the
footpath, instead of inviting them into the dining room. So the underclass
clients walked through the church during the service to get through the inner
doors of the dining room.
The black African Negroes disliked this intrusion, and
they disliked the white underclass derelicts and would grab their children
whenever a white man or woman passed. They finally had enough and told the
white bureaucrats to get rid of the white underclass, which the white
underclass did. The meal venue was changed to the hall at the back of the
Pilgrim Church on Flinders Street.
The church and Uniting Communities management, still in
white hands, didn’t dare contradict the more devout black people.
The irony is that the Negroes and the elderly
conservative white congregation probably have more in common with each other
than with the “enlightened” gay and politically correct lobby that dominates
the welfare industry.
Source: “Father Christmas” at Fred’s Van 1 April 2015
was a foregone conclusion that WestCare would win over seventy-year-old Steve
Lang; they simply told the semi-literate man to get out.
middle-management men with higher education and living in comfortable middle
class suburbs told Steve he was out for a month, then a year, then
indefinitely. When he asked why they told him he already knew and an apology
might change their decisions, but they weren’t going to tell him what he was
supposed to apologise for.
process of expelling him was particularly excruciating. First, they barred him
for one month, then one year, then when he returned after this period a
low-level employee told him to leave or the police would be called. When Steve
met with the four executives they ridiculed him.
had been going to WestCare since the 1950’s, as a child, before any of these
four men had been born. He doesn’t use drugs or drink alcohol yet raging drug
addicts and dealers operate with impunity at WestCare.
WestCare won easily, but in history a single example is often cited to show a
general attitude of an organisation or movement, and expelling Steve for life
will be a shame that won’t be erased from the official history.
management would repair the damage if they can rise above their worldly egos
and admit that enough pain has been applied to Steve Lang, in the last decade
of his life.
out for two months
Salvation Army has kicked Margot out of the Pirie Street premises for two
months and will only be allowed back in after counseling.
now sits on her electric invalid scooter outside on the footpath Pirie Street
while the more able bodied people sit inside. It’s a farcical situation, but
there are two sides of the story and Margot readily admits she did something
wrong by whacking 70-year-old Salvation Army veteran Grandma Margaret with her crutch.
is hoped that Margaret will withdraw her complaint with the police, or that the
police won’t proceed with a prosecution, and things will go back to normal.
real reason Byron Place Homeless Centre closed down
woman with twenty years in the homeless scene told me that it was the drug
addicts and dealers that prompted authorities to close down the Byron Place
said there had been many overdoses and bashings that required police and
ambulance attendances plus at least one death.
official reason from Uniting Communities was that they wanted to tackle the
causes of homelessness rather than treating the symptoms.
woman said she now avoids WestCare as the drug addicts have migrated en masse
to the Baptist Mission.
were always a problem, but these chemical drug addicts are a new breed and
instill fear into the mainstream homeless community whom, contrary to popular
belief, have a high rate of abstinence.
Food Bank Pop Up
Executive Officer of Food Bank Greg Pattinson has announced their next Free
Food Pop Up is expected to be in the southern suburbs in May. This column will
try to provide more details as soon as they become available.
idea of Food Bank was begun by unsung hero David Brockschmidt who in 1987 began
giving out food that he’d retrieved by the rubbish bins of Coles, Woolworths
and Bi-Lo. He was ridiculed by some welfare agencies and persecuted by
supermarket managers.Eventually, they
saw the validity of his idea that good food should not be thrown away and thus
Oz Harvest and Food Bank came into being.
Bait Woman pockets the cutlery
The Bait Woman, after enjoying her free breakfast of
scrambled eggs, fritters, bacon, fried tomatoes and slices of watermelon and
strawberries, positioned herself behind a large fat man then slipped the
cutlery from the table into one of the numerous bags attached to her walking
frame. She then went up to the counter and thanked the volunteers saying. “I
really appreciate it; I’m not just saying it.”
In her world, everyone is the enemy. Without being conscious
of it she could be a protégé of Sun Tzu.
Brenda, the miniature veteran Scottish cook at Hutt Street Centre
couldn’t take anymore when clients complained about the half-cooked rice that
made one man with reduced gag reflex choke on the hard grains.
She went up to one critic, who had been discussing the food privately,
and told him that if he didn’t like it he knew where he could go.
1 April 2015
Margot at Glenelg
Margot was seen at Glenelg giving Seth a ride on her
invalid scooter. The two-year-old boy’s attention was riveted b
Seth is the son of Geoff and Sarah.
1 April 2015
Genius’ at St Bedes
Rotary Club gave a $450 ping pong table with bats and net to the St Bedes
Church. The two Rotarians took an hour to assemble the table then left the net
to the church people.
Bedes Church sent over four of its best people to tie the net across the table,
but they all failed. They blamed the instructions and the net, saying both were
just crazy. The problem was solved by using the old net. (The Salvation Army
has a similar net. They couldn’t read the instructions translated from Chinese,
either, so it’s all squiggly and tied up with string and the ball passes under