Piano Player Wayne has been in hospital this past week after having his big toe amputated. His Therapy Cat bit him. This caused the initial infection that wouldn’t heal due to Wayne’s diabetes. That’s why a surgeon chopped off his big toe. Wayne took a photo of the gruesome result.
Wayne’s other health problems include stomach ulcers and “horrendous vomiting fits” caused by the side effects of a course of chemotherapy following the diagnosis of throat cancer. Preceding the surgery, a dentist removed some teeth so the surgeon could cut out the tumour.
Like many with chronic illness, Wayne is understandably unhappy and subsequently isolated. His Therapy Cat is his world. 5 September 2015
Murky elderly rentalhousing
The James Brown Memorial
Trust, a benevolent housing group, requires a tenant to agree that: “Tenants
shall allow access to the premises at all reasonable times to any person
authorised by the James Brown Memorial Trust including those persons outlined
in any “Agreement for Ongoing Client Support”.
So what is an “Agreement
for Ongoing Client Support”? It appears to be a semi-voluntary contract to
purchase ongoing podiatry, cleaning, occupational therapy and similar services.
This isn’t simply
opportunists up-selling the rental product, but also a means to ensure the
elderly tenant is “alright”.
But making tenants
surrender the right to refuse entry to a third party creates a murky
undercurrent in the James Brown Memorial Trust housing application.
5 September 2015
Where is Our Bruno?
The Stockbroker Derelict heard
that Bruno was recently treated in hospital for cancer. The Derelict should
know because he spent years living in a van in a carpark at Semaphore, which
was Bruno’s stomping ground.
Bruno lost nearly half his
weight last year and his chubby face now appears gaunt and haunted. His body is reported as
riddled with cancer due to his diet of chocolate and cigarettes.
The Stockbroker Derelict
said that nurses forced Bruno to have a shower then discovered his underpants
were full of cigarette butts.
After getting out of
hospital Bruno went back to begging and living on the street, but has now
Let’s hope the rumour is
4 September 2015
Not a few people in the
homeless scene have scrimped and saved then approached the Housing Trust and
other government funded housing groups for rental accommodation. Instead of
being congratulated for their spendthrift ways that enable them to furnish the
house or unit they are told they no longer qualify for welfare housing due to “excessive
This housing then goes to
people who haven’t saved their money, and who require free furniture and white
Meanwhile, the spendthrifts
are told to come back when they’ve gotten rid of their money.
4 September 2015
Toe Chopped Off
Piano Player Wayne’s
diabetes flared up badly this month. One foot became infected and surgeons have
removed a big toe. He is currently a patient in the Royal Adelaide Hospital. His atrocious health has included
the unpleasant side effects following chemotherapy and surgery for throat
cancer. Not many people understand this, but for Wayne every day is a major
struggle to stay alive. The Therapy Cat is an important part of his survival.
Natalie the Nurse has been
taking care of Piano Player Wayne’s Therapy Cat, as well as helping him with
his everyday life and nursing treatment.
Wayne says he can’t thank
her enough and asked that she be acknowledged here, not that she seeks
3 September 2015
Prospect Council's dirty trick
against a loyal volunteer
A lifelong professional
truck driver of retirement age was working as an unpaid volunteer driving the
community bus for the Prospect Council. He took elderly people shopping or on
outings to places like Victor Harbour, then returned them home. He’d been doing
this for over six years.
But conditions deteriorated
for the volunteers. Instead of being respected for giving their time without
payment, Prospect Council reclassified them as “workers”, and expected them to
perform the same duties as those receiving salaries, but without the thanks and
without access to the staff lunch room. Then came the “new requirements”.
First, there was the First
Aid course, no problem, then the superfluous “drivers’ meetings” on Mondays.
When our driver told them he would attend very few meetings because he was doing
additional volunteer work on that day at the Burnside Council, Prospect Council’s
Volunteer Co-ordinator Alison Wall didn’t believe him. She phoned Burnside to
see if he was telling the truth. He was.
Then came the letters from
Prospect Council demanding our driver attend training courses. The letters were
followed by “Phone Me” text messages from the Prospect Council Transport
Co-ordinator Dermot Hanafin.
What had started out so
well was becoming a drag so last Wednesday our driver decided to take a day
off, and to hell with them, he wouldn’t phone in; Dermot was paid to drive when
a volunteer didn’t come in; let him do it.
But Dermot wasn’t actually
happy doing the job for which he was paid. He phoned twice, but our volunteer
missed the calls because he was in his back yard. Still outside an hour later, he
also missed the thumping on his front door, the ruckus perhaps drowned out from
the noise of construction workers repairing drains on the street. Nor did he
hear a body slither over the high fence separating his front and back yards.
But he did see the figure
dressed in black with one hand on his gun and sneaking up the side of the
house. The police officer wanted to know our volunteer’s name then told him
that Prospect Council had called them because, “we were told to come and check
because they haven’t been able to contact you”.
Our volunteer driver told
the officer, “I’m a volunteer and I chose not to go in.” This was true. He
wasn’t required by Centrelink or any government department to do this unpaid
work. It was his own benevolent deed.
He raised his carport
roller door and let the officer out and found the street silent. Two more
police officers, a man and a woman, were at his front door. The construction
machines were turned off and the workers watched his every move. Our volunteer
was furious that Alison and Dermot had pulled such a mean trick.
Soon after the police left,
Prospect Council Volunteer Co-ordinator Alison Wall phoned our volunteer. What
could she have wanted?
3 September 2015
(above) Camping items in bush controlled by homosexuals near Veale Gardens in Adelaide's South Parklands. Tribal Aboriginals make repeated incursions into the area during the summer months, but the relentless and well organised Gay crowd gets them kicked out by Adelaide City Council workers and the police.
Bait Woman: the early years
The Bait Woman turned up at a certain
soup kitchen. She was late. Everyone had left except a tightly knit group of
volunteers who were locking up. They told her to visit the next day.
She pleaded diabetes and required a glass of water. They
unlocked the doors and let her enter with the children. She was given water and
a coffee. After she left, a volunteer’s key ring was missing. It
contained house and car keys.
A locksmith was called to get into the car boot
where a separate set were kept. The house locks were changed and copies of new
keys cut. This cost $380. The old keys were never recovered.
This incident was kept secret for years.
3 September 2015
Utah versus South Australia
The American state of Utah
has introduced a policy with the premise that the homeless shouldn’t be blamed
for living outside then required to undergo treatment programs to quality for a
roof over their heads.
Many mental and physical ailments
acquired while living outside are remedied with secure housing.
South Australia’s Social
Inclusion as instigated by Monsignor David Cappo is diametrically the opposite
where the homeless are blamed for living outside and required to undergo
treatment programs before they qualify for housing. These programs frequently
benefit the psychologists and social workers more than those living outside.
Utah’s new policy has
reduced chronic homelessness in that state by 91% whereas the rate of
homelessness in South Australia has hardly changed in the last decade. The
statistical drop previously touted by politicians and Monsignor Cappo was as
much the result of driving the homeless away from homeless joints where the
statistics were collected, as much as these people actually finding secure
3 September 2015
Forever Hopeful Choir 277 Pirie Street, Adelaide
Whatever the choir was
doing last Saturday evening it brought the room to a standstill, as if a
mysterious force had muted every other speaker. I can’t remember what they
sang, but someone gently backed them on piano.
The human voice in harmony
has a magical quality that stops the frivolity of idle chatter. But could these
singers in the grip of their performance have sensed the pureness emanating
from themselves in the form of sound?
The Goth Lady was bathed in
purple light and was particularly impressive as she vacillated between her quintessential
cheeky grin, and her less characteristic clenched-jaw anxiety. She’d had two
days of volatile emotions prior to the performance, and her presence on stage
seemed a mark of character and an example of courage.
Yet I wonder if she’ll
return to Pirie Street Riot? And what about Maria?
The choir mistress quietly
watched her students perform then was given a bouquet of flowers, and then left
with her entourage. Yet it was she who performed the function of galvanising
the group along a similar pattern followed by another humble character that
people call “Swanee”. Both of these musical veterans help their students
recover the beauty and self-respect within that can sometimes be lost in the
hurly burly of modern life.
2 September 2015
Mary Magdalene Centre last
Some dummy parked their
Subaru Outback car in the laneway back of the Mary Magdalene Centre where the
chairs are set out for the evening meal.
The meal included a mess of
partly dissolved pasta that hit the plates with singular thumps. This was complemented
by a decent hamburger stew decorated with colourful sauté vegetables, and a waxy
cheese sprinkle. The vegetable soup was thick and basic. The desert of
ice-cream and apple crumble was delayed 25 minutes, possibly because they had a
huge amount of takeaways to put into plastic containers, due to lack of demand.
The good news is that Garfield
has begun working in the kitchen. The Captain was in better health than usual.
The Senile German was chatting up the young women. One of the Crony Gang
pointed out a man who allegedly killed his wife by stabbing her in the neck.
Grinder wasn’t there. Beck, her boyfriend, and Google and Mary Jane are long
gone, their time in the homeless scene over. Rachel was up to her old tricks.
The Stockbroker Derelict wasn’t impressed by the pasta. The Vitamin Derelict
wasn’t impressed by the showers at Hutt Street. Patrick the lawyer didn’t look
impressed by the guests. If he ever ends his legal career, the job of security
guard will suit him fine, though we’re lucky to have him on deck as an unpaid
Most of the young
volunteers exhibit a friendly sense of superiority while others are dismayed by
the guests. A Vietnamese-looking woman appeared as if she was having a moment
of enlightenment while she watched the interactions of guests in the dining
room. What could she have seen?
2 September 2015
Anthony’s rooming house catches fire
Anthony finished lunch at
WestCare on Tuesday and was heading back to his dodgy rooming house when he
heard the sirens and smelt the smoke. He responded positively to the acrid
odour thinking he’d see a little “action” then was surprised to see his
building on Hindley Street on fire.
The building holds Cheok
Leong’s Kung Fu school while another floor contains rooms rent to “homeless
people”. The third floor remains vacant due to its deteriorated condition.
Anthony is a main player
in the homeless scene and dines at Magdalene Centre, WestCare, Jasmine
Restaurant and many other places. He used to do football reports on ABC 891
He appears to have lost
his photographs in the fire.
My throat is still sore after
breathing in the smoke that covered Hindley and Grenfell Streets for about two
2 September 2015
Itching to stay at the
in Hindley Street, Adelaide
A few men in Adelaide’s
homeless scene live at the Plaza Hotel in Hindley Street, across from KFC. This
is the hotel with that Asian massage joint operating from the street front. It
is also a tourist hotel, but not all travellers have been satisfied with their
stay, and have posted their reviews on Trip Advisor.
One guest described the
hotel as having a sleazy, seedy atmosphere with dirty bed covers and bad
smells, and lots of old men living on the ground floor.
A common complaint was
stained bed linen, thin sheets, make-up on the pillows, and stained towels. One
guest thought it was a brothel. Another felt the same when he saw a woman
sitting outside one of the rooms drinking wine and smoking cigarettes. “Probably
a hooker,” he judged.
Another guest said she’d scratched
her leg on something in the hotel and it became red and inflamed and then sores
and spots appeared all over her body.Her
doctor thought the place was infested with bed bugs and she is now being
treated for scabies. She says she’s spent so much money on creams and
One couple said their room
shower had a false window where a milk crate had been placed outside, apparently
to allow someone to peek inside. When they left they passed by another room
with a window where a man stared at them and appeared to be “pulling himself
The Plaza Hotel in Hindley
Street derives part of their income from people who pay in advance for a room,
take one look, then walk out.
31 August 2015
(above) Over the decades, the Adelaide City Council have removed drinking water taps from the South Parklands to discourage homeless people. Yet in the Parkland across Barton Terrace East in North Adelaide, where few people camp, there are some beautiful taps and fountains.
Housing Trust Dead List
A Housing Trust employee
said today that no offers of housing are being made to anyone on Categories 1
and 2, no matter how long a person has been on these lists. Everything is
In reply to a question of
when a senior citizen on Category 2 since 2001 would receive an offer of
housing, the response was: “Nothing in the foreseeable future.”
31 August 2015
Mary’s Kitchen at Glenelg
A popular woman asked the
diners if they would pray for her 96-year-old grandmother who has been walking
the streets looking for her husband, who died last year.
Another woman sitting on the steps of the church told how
her mother has cursed a certain derelict from the grave, and who is now
31 August 2015
Pirie Street Riot
With such a dazzling evening
it is hard to remember who came first, but there was a country and western
singer backed by Guy. His name might have been Brooks.
Someone said he was an
amateur musician from Murray Bridge, but the way he slid up and down the
register with such relaxed composure was the mark of a professional. While
singing, he appeared as if sitting on a farmhouse verandah on a sunny day
talking about an old tractor that had served him well. He was easy-listening,
but with a story to tell.
The slimmed down Pirie
Street Riot band bounced onto the stage with just three members: Guy, a
red-haired man and Jerry, all on guitars, but no drummer, like The Cream or
Three Dog Night.
The red-haired man was an
alpha male who swung the microphone and chrome stand like Jim Morrison. His
body language was natural and emotional like someone who takes control of any
When Jerry sang, Pirie
Street Riot was his band. He belted out Elvis-style songs while sitting deadly
still, his eyes downcast and bathed in blue light as if half asleep, and
listening to a small radio. That’s his trademark: an energetic voice with somnambulant
body language that lulls the audience into a state where they forget where they
are: it’s just the music the audience hears.
When the red-haired man sang,
Jerry became invisible; giving the limelight to the other man, then when
required he delivered heavy strumming in support.
As always, Guy remained in
the background, like a professional session player, aloof from the emotions
while delivering a Jimmy Hendrix sound. He complained it was hard work, but no
one believed him; he played so effortlessly.
The producers did a fine
job of assembling a stage and coloured lighting. A former player in the band
got on the stage and changed the microphone volumes to suit the singers better.
You could see the pride on the faces of the audience seeing their own people at their best. Pirie Street Riot is good
enough to return singing the same songs. We should hear them more often.
30 August 2015
The Spy who wouldn’t be
Prospect Council tried to
place a spy in the Burnside Council. The man they hoped to snoop for them is a
volunteer community driver with both Councils. He refused their request.
The problem was that
Prospect Council Community Transport Co-ordinator Dermot Hanafin had wanted to
fill the vacancy of transport co-ordinator at Burnside Council. This was
because he lives closer to Burnside and was sick of the long drive to Prospect.
The Burnside job is also full-time whereas his job at Prospect is part-time. He
was annoyed when the Burnside job went to a fellow Prospect Council employee
Alison Wall is the Volunteer
Co-ordinator at Prospect Council and she wanted information about how Burnside’s
community bus scheme worked, and how Elizabeth was going in her new role.
Elizabeth had aroused animosity
at Prospect Council when didn’t tell a soul she was applying for the vacancy at
Burnside. She simply developed an illness, used up her sick pay, then resigned.
Dermot said Elizabeth was helped to get the job by a friend at Burnside Council,
who put in a good word for her.
After refusing to be
Prospect’s spy, the volunteer is worried there may be repercussions from Dermot
or Alison, or from both of them.
late August 2015
Hutt Street Centre
One of the three men’s
showers has been broken all week. The other two are still filthy. The cleaner
is either a slackard or isn’t given enough time to do a good job.
30 August 2015
From the underground
Below is a comment by a friend in the street scene on the homeless conference held at the Adelaide Convention
Centre last month.
"Checked out the foyer outside "Valuing the Homelessness
Sector" at CON [Vention] centre. It was held in "new" west
wing of the CON centre, in above-ground-level CON-ference room and according to
CON centre staff, had about 150 in it at the time.
"During lunch hour few if any "homeless" CON attendees came
outside. A few who were possibly part of the CON-ference ventured outside for
solitary smokes, to take cold comfort in knowing they were not homeless.
A REAL NON-EVENT FOR THE HOMELESS.
Another slippery slug for the taxpayer/slave..."
30 August 2015
A diner at the Magdalene
Centre on Saturday evening asked James the Organiser why he spoke in hushed
James replied that he has
throat cancer with a life expectancy of two years.
James has worked for years
at various homeless joints and if well liked.
30 August 2015
Male patient asks female dentist
if she has a boyfriend.
A patient at a government
dental clinic asked a student dentist if she had a boyfriend. She complained to
her middle-aged female supervisor. The response from the older woman was not
That’s the difference
between welfare dentistry and expensive private dentistry. At a private dental
clinic both the assistant and dentist would have politely brushed off such a
30 August 2015
Anglicare up-selling their
During their recent
lifestyle and unit inspection, Anglicare employees handed out cards advertising
their “Allied Health Services”, which offers a second tier of health services
like physiotherapy, exercise physiology and podiatry.
It was a more subtle
approach than the Commonwealth Bank women staff at Elizabeth who run from the
front doors when they see a military serviceman using the ATM. They smile and
shake their hips and try to up-sell him extra bank services.
P.S. The Anglicare women
didn’t shake their hips and there was an air of benevolence about them.
30 August 2015
Trouble at Fred’s Van
A man told Garfield at
Fred’s Van last week that he was going to kick his legs with his steel capped
boots. Garfield has difficulty walking due to polio as a child.
A stranger defended
Garfield and told Mr Steel Capped Boots he shouldn’t threaten an invalid, and
that he had twelve months of anger looking for an outlet. Another two men
joined the chorus and surrounded Mr Steel.
Someone called the police.
“I’m going to stab myself
when I get home,” the Mr Steel said as the police took him away.
Laura said she was
traumatised by the incident, but for Garfield it was a realisation that he has
more friends than he’d thought. And perhaps we can have compassion for the man who
bullied an invalid.
29 August 2015
A man at Fred’s Van said
one of the showers at WestCare has been broken for months. He doesn’t expect it
to be fixed and has become so used to it being broken that he speaks regretfully
of the day when it could be fixed.
29 August 2015
The Reverend Peter Sandeman
The security lights at the
Elizabeth retirement units have been fixed.
Previously, it had been an
insurmountable problem; there had been talk of digging trenches; the problem dragged on for ten months, but now
Anglicare CEO Peter Sandeman has sent a shock wave down the chain of command,
and now the lights operate properly.
Late Friday, 28 August 2015
Resthaven: Wolves in
In the application for
rental housing, Resthaven places a small note saying that upon acceptance of an
offer of housing a renter plus undergo a medical check-up to their
The actual checklist they
require the renter’s doctor to complete isn’t given until the last minute in
the rental process. They don’t want the prospective renter to get ‘cold feet’
upon discovering the level of detail Resthaven demands.
Why would they want such
details? So they can up-sell further products based on the medical report? So
they can offer services in the best interest of the tenant? Or could they be
psychopaths who crave ultimate power over others. Of course, prospective tenant
could say, “mind your own business”, but then there wouldn’t be tenancy.
Psychopaths are clever: They
rarely hang about dark streets at night, but instead infiltrate benevolent
institutions, then in the name of kindness, subvert its noble aims into those instilling
fear and oppression.
28 August 2015
(above) The private lives of people living outside are similar to those living in houses. Two cushions under a tree and a bottle of Tawny Port provided a soothing environment for someone to reflect on the day's events whilst living in the Parklands.
Women’s shower conflict at
A regular WestCare client’s
water heater broke down at home so she decided to have a shower at WestCare,
the first there in fourteen years.
She had hardly begun her
shower when Mrs Judith Telstra banged on the door demanding how long she’d
be.A few minutes later, Mrs Testra returned
and thumped the door harder demanding the woman hurry up then complained to the
yard manager about the delay to her shower.
Mrs Telstra has her own
shower at home; it works well, but she doesn’t want to waste gas and water so
she goes to WestCare. She grabs the shower first in front of any rare homeless
woman who might want to use it, and not getting in first this particular
morning put her into a rage.
The other woman isn’t a
fighter and was shaken by the incident.
28 August 2015
Carefully worded speech
Staff at the Salvation Army
have been asked not to talk about Michael Johnson. The reason is that the Army
is a finely tuned multi-billion dollar corporation with predators constantly
circling looking for a weakness. But doesn’t Michael, who was an accredited
unpaid worker, deserve support whatever the outcome of the trial.
Staff have also been asked
to speak well of the 13 surveillance cameras installed in the building though
one man said: “It shows they don’t trust us.”
It would be nice to
discover the real reason for the installation of this expensive surveillance
27 August 2015
(above) Another world of mind that others can't imagine exists in the homeless scene.
No need for car salesman
Anglicare sent Sue
Christophers to St Bede’s Drop-in-Centre in Semaphore to get the group to “sell
the St Bede’s story” to the Anglicare Board. That hardly seems necessary now
since they’ve given St Bede’s the “High Achievement” award.
Anglican Church priest Ken
Bechaz said at a recent meeting he’d like to open what is called a “Men’s Shed”,
but said this term isn’t appropriate as traditional gender demarcations have
changed. (He didn’t use these exact words).
During the meeting he swore
once, in a friendly way, but Janet from Semaphore Hostel, acting as his moral
guardian, corrected his language.
There was also concern
expressed for Bruno as he’s not been looking well this previous year. The Most
Active Volunteer said he’s been banned from being on Semaphore Road and will be
arrested if anyone sees him and phones the police.
The preacher said, “He’s
Bruno, but he’s our Bruno.” He was right: we’re almost like a family.
27 August 2015
(above) Drunks with homes aside, the Adelaide City Council has gone out of its way to discourage often desperate people from camping in the Parklands. They've installed fifty 'No Camping' signs along the creeks and in the bushes.
Pirie Street Riot
After a long break, the Pirie Street Riot band will
re-appear at 8:00pm at 277 Pirie Street, Adelaide on Saturday 29 August, 2015.
Entry is free.
Rumours are that The Choir may also perform, but this is not
27 August 2015
St Bede’s Drop-in-Centre wins achievement award
Three volunteers triumphantly returned to Semaphore
with a framed award and a thick blue plastic plaque indicating that St Bede’s
Drop-in-Centre won Anglicare’s High Achievement Award.
happy to be recognised for years of dedicated unpaid work one volunteer noted
that the eight or so volunteers should have received individual plaques with
their individual names printed on each one.
this award guarantees future funding from Anglicare, the money of which comes
from the government.
joining the volunteer team and with her personality will add to the energy
within the group.
Cindy the Gymnast are facing difficulties getting guests to join in with the
preparation exercises for the Opportunity Games. Just 3 or 4 out of 40 were
pleasant being asked seven times to join in for the exercises then feeling bad
for refusing and this deflected from the usual relaxed social atmosphere.
The decision to apply for funding and run the
Opportunity Games was made at meetings not open to Drop-in-Centre guests who
were then expected to show enthusiasm for an activity that lacked any benefit
for them personally.
One guest, not me, said he’d like to see the
Opportunity Games funding amount put on the table in the form of notes and
coins then hear the organisers explain where each dollar will be spent.
Nor has there been enough attention to the possibility
that people who have suffered savage illnesses and injuries, and some of whom
are on psychiatric medication with its devastating side effects, might not be
keen to play kids’ games in a public park.
Breakfast on Wednesday included an excellent tuna
bake. During the meal an electrician stood on the counter and removed the
busted air conditioner. The Regency Park Rotary man took pictures of two people
playing billiards on the table donated by Rotary. Another man donated 400
packets of Peckish rice crackers. It was a relief for all that the Most Active
Volunteer has been cleared of cancer. A man living in Semaphore Hostel was
unhappy that another resident bosses people around. Coffee cups were in short
supply and were supplemented with plastic cups because someone has been
knocking off the ceramic variety.
“Volunteer” isn’t a sufficient enough title to describe people who give quality
effort to help others.
26 August 2015
There was a
disjointed feeling on Saturday night at Pirie Street as the meal was served in
the Benson Room where the heater were turned up full blast. Numbers were down
as many had fled to the Magdalene Centre. The free food and clothing room was
empty and distribution was done in front of the cafe. (They’re still pushing
that elderly salad dressing.) The Crony Gang
divided between the Benson Room and at tables near the closed cafe where they
deliberated on the new spy cameras. The Bait Woman’s powerful voice rang
through the building as she berated her elderly boyfriend for not being there
for her at every level.
A young woman
ran about the room dressed in a rabbit’s costume.
By 11:00pm the
stark main hall was mostly abandoned, but the Benson room had a warm domestic
atmosphere with twenty people playing cards and games while a group of men
roast food on the outside barbecue. Army staff served drinks from behind the
counter. The beds were dragged from the TV room into the Benson room and the
ceiling high concertina walls were drawn across the room between the sleepers
and the card players.
exhausted some of the staff were made me realise what a professional and
selfless outfit is the Do Unto Others program of the Salvation Army.
24 August 2015
Wayne’s Therapy Cat
A woman from the Salvation Army phoned Piano Player Wayne and told him
he couldn’t bring his Therapy Cat to Congress Hall in Pirie Street because they
were afraid someone might try to kill it. 25 August
The latest rumour is that the man whom Mrs Telstra has been supplying
food for years has died and left his considerable estate to her. Mrs Telstra
will be quick to say this isn’t true.
Correction and corroboration: This event happened some years ago. Vic was in his 80's and Mrs Judith Telstra took him food and was kind to him for years. He left some of his estate to her. 25 August
Sue Christophers: Ali Wurm’s Revenge
I’ve cancelled this posting, which was written by
myself and contained too much negative supposition and not enough factual
25 August 2015
The purchase of Amanda Blair
Government spin doctor Amanda Blair hints in her newspaper
column that she knows more about the Bowden/FamiliesSA case than the rest of us.
This was where FamiliesSA removed a 7-year-old girl from foster parents Jacqueline
and Graeme Bowden. The girl had been with the Bowdens since she was ten-months
of age and knew no other life then was removed with one hour’s notice.
Amanda defends FamiliesSA and uses the word “love” when
describing the bureaucrats who removed the girl. In the paragraph where she
quotes Jacqueline Bowden telling about losing their foster daughter, Amanda
uses the words “bad and ugly” and “aggrieved”. These words are directed against
Jacqueline and not FamiliesSA.
Amanda doesn’t mention how the Bowdens’ birth daughter Maya-Rose, also 7, must
feel about the disappearance of the girl she knows as her sister and with whom
she has spent her whole life. Nor does Amanda speculate about the multiple
placements of the foster girl since being removed from the only home she’s ever
known. Can anyone imagine how this kid must feel?
Amanda Blair was part of the Social Inclusion Board that instigated
the policy of refusing welfare housing to those living outside unless they
agreed to admit there was something wrong with them and undergo “rehabilitation”,
which usually means agreeing to submit to a course of psychiatric or
Ms Blair has a nice personality and would do well working in
a bar and grill, but promoting her beyond mixing drinks and frying hamburgers
might be a little risky for all concerned, especially when she’s doing spin
Meanwhile, the Ombudsman has ruled that FamiliesSA should supply
copies of files to Jacqueline and Graeme Bowden showing the reasons for the
removal of their foster child. The Weatherill government has refused the ruling
and the matter is going to the District Court.
Amanda Blair didn’t use the word “truth” in her newspaper
column. Spin doctoring and truth don’t mix easily, but don’t Jacqueline and
Graeme Bowden deserve to know the truth?
25 August 2015
Saint Mary Magdalene Report
Seats at the tables in the big room were all occupied as was
the table in the middle room. Diners were also crammed tightly against each
other on the chairs against the wall. Some stood eating in the middle door
hallway. The inner laneway couldn’t hold any more chairs so others were moved
into the outer lane.
Guests were still lining up when the main course ran out;
then the deserts ran out. Then James the Convenor announced there weren’t any
Trock was there and in a good mood, but not yet forgiven for
shoving The Ghost Who Walks onto the ground at Whitmore Square last month. The
Senile German found a key in a rubbish bin and plans to file off a section so
it will fit his front door. Frank from Red Hill was an uncomfortable guest:
this wasn’t his scene. The Nervous Gambler has stopped going to the Magdalene
Centre because it makes him “embarrassed”. Gary is in Melbourne. The Ghost
said, “Hello Darling,” to Rachel, and she replied with, “Hello Asshole”.
A volunteer said, “We don’t have cameras and we don’t have
guards: we just call the police.” But they haven’t done so for quite awhile
despite two arguments last week. There was one identifiable millionaire at the
meal and quite a few people living outside.
24 August 2015
Heaven on Earth
A homeless person drinking a cup of coffee in the lounge at
the back of the Pilgrim Church in Flinders Street said that sitting in the
silence and safety of the church, and drinking the coffee, was like “heaven on
The lounge is open for free coffee from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Monday to Friday.
24 August 2015
Stumbling upon inequality 5
An elderly semi-literate Adelaide city can collector has
collected 8000 ten-cent deposit cans from CBD rubbish bins and taken them to
the Scout recycling centre at Port Adelaide. This raised $800 which he paid to a
psychologist for a report required to claim compensation for child abuse whilst
in government care.
24 August 2015
Remembering the past
A woman currently sleeping outside was recounting an historical tale when another homeless woman smacked her on the side of the head. In her enthusiasm of remembering the incident she said, “This is how she did it,” and then punched the side of my head, hard, and now my ear hurts. She apologised, but appeared eager to hit me again.
We had to laugh.
23 August 2015
The Great Alex
A guest at the Saturday evening free meals with the
Salvation Army told me that New York Alex often pays for the main course. One
day he spent $400 on food then he and his wife cooked it at home. This is what
someone told me. Alex rides around on a bicycle. 23 August 2015
Spy cameras at Salvation Army
Thirteen spy cameras were installed this week in Congress
Hall and adjoining offices at the Salvation Army premises in Pirie Street,
One employee said the reason was that valuable items had
been stolen. She said she didn’t know how the on-going surveillance would be
conducted or how the recorded data would be used, but that she trusted her
Captain Matt Reeve said he instigated the installation of
the cameras to protect those inside and outside the building. He said the
cameras weren’t monitored, but were on a 24-hour loop and the data would be used
if an incident occurred.
However, after the police entered the building last week and
looked at each guest in turn, one could be forgiven for estimating that in
future the police could be slipped through a back door and then allowed to
monitor the guests via the cameras.
It isn’t known whether sacrificing the privacy of Congress
Hall is a sop to the authorities, or a public relations gesture to apologise
for harbouring Salvation Army volunteer Michael Johnson, who was charged with
murder four days prior to the installation of the cameras.
23 August 2015
Woman spits in face of Muslim woman
A woman spat in the face of a Muslim woman at the Old Spot
Hotel Farmers’ Market at Salisbury Heights recently.
The spitter was told never again to return to the markets.
The Muslim woman has been in Australia for decades. Fellow stall holders
consoled her, gave her a cup of tea and a bouquet of flowers. The incident proved
to those at the market the inclusivity of Australian society, at least at the
The Farmers’ Market was founded by politician Mark Aldridge.
23 August 2015
(above) This campsite was abandoned after a visit by police in three patrol vehicles. Its messiness expresses a cultural sense of ownership, nomadism and perhaps a certain contempt for the authorities.
Another Anglicare CEO Peter Sandeman
Despite the flurry of repair activity at the
Anglicare-administered Laura and Alfred West Cottage Homes in Elizabeth, there
is no planned work for the unsafe and inappropriate invalid ramps at the front
of the units occupied by the two semi-housebound elderly women.
The new official plan is that the ramps will be inspected once
again and quotes for repairs attached to application grants that will be sent
to another organisation. This is identical to the old plan they spruiked two
Other important and cosmetic repairs will be made
to the units, and tenants have been admonished not to make repairs
This reflects Anglicare policy of transforming independent
retirement units into semi-institutionalised living for those who may or may
not need it, and whom may actively loathe it. It’s an institutional response of
one-size-fits-all which reduces the self-mastery of individuals with
Meanwhile, a housing officer has assured tenants that the faulty
security lights were fixed last week by an electrician. This belies the fact
that the four sensor activated lights on the southern side of the units are dead
24-hours a day.
But to be fair, life in the units isn’t all bad, and the
reduction of independent living reflects a government response to the expected
influx of Baby Boomers.
The highlight of our units is an 85-year-old former Salvation
Army Captain from Great Britain who has transformed the inner gardens into a
delight to walk through. At a slightly lower level is the 90-year-old man who invites
young woman into his unit at night for who knows what.
22 August 2015
Unhappy and angry
Major Anderson has been in a distressed frame of mind all
week after the arrest of Michael Johnson for murder.
Michael has been a top worker for the Army, and respected by
those around him. With luck he’ll defeat the charges and regain his life.
22 August 2015
Free BBQ at Elizabeth
Every Friday 11:30am to 1:30pm In front of the Salvation
Army 39 Kinkaid Road, Elizabeth
Today they served sausages in buns with onions and sauce. Eleanor
made the soup at home at her own expense. Self-serve oranges, apples, leeks and
green leafy vegetables were available inside the lounge room.
An old man grilled the sausages and onions. The onions ran
out early. Eleanor and another young woman served the soup and hot dogs. The
man who drives the 35-year-old Land Cruiser donated some money.
Guests could sit down inside the building on comfortable
seats or eat in the sun standing up. A sign on the window said the Army had
received reduced funding this year so watch out.
Everyone spoke in gentle tones. One guest had a plastic leg.
A man asked a woman if she was a Pepsi or Coke person. She said she was both
Pepsi and Coke and that Donald Trump was ugly. Another woman said she was “devo”
when her father threw out her grandmother’s handwritten cooking recipes after
My only criticism was that one elderly woman opened her
mouth too wide when she bit a hot dog.
21 August 2015
The Opportunity Games: First Workout
It became apparent last Tuesday at St Bede’s Drop-in-Centre why the four
hour Opportunity Games are costing up to $9000 ― a professional gymnast has
been hired to train the participants and the actual games will be the result of
eight weeks of training and preparation.
The breakfast was broken up when the organiser asked a volunteer to tell
each table of guests to go into the hall for exercises, or at least to watch
This proved a fizzer when the volunteer refused, leaving the organiser
to appeal to the guests herself. This broke up the breakfast as most guests
fled outside or went home. However, ten people either watched or participated
in the exercises with positive results. One guest said he had little to do in
his life and welcomed the exercises
But another person said the Opportunity Games weren’t part of the
Drop-in-Centre breakfasts and should be run separately. The training resulted
in the ping pong table being folded up and pushed away early, which
disappointed two players, one of whom was on a winning streak.
There is obvious difficulty attracting participants to the games to be
held in a public park in October. Many of the Drop-in-Centre guests are
disabled by medication or major infirmities related to age or birth. They are reluctant
to compete in public games. One man with recent hernia surgery expressed fear
that he would be pressured into entering the games.
Some enthusiasm was expressed when it was suggested that prizes at the
Opportunity Games could include tobacco and beer. Sadly, this won’t be the
case, but participants will receive a pair of shoes.
It will be a hard slog for Ros, the organiser of the games, but her
initiative shows why St Bede’s is an excellent parish.
21 August 2015
Is Olive Bennell worth her feed?
Anglicare poached Olive Bennell from the Housing Trust. She is an expert on Aboriginal housing and homelessness.
So what has she done in the first three months on the job? More “support” for homeless people from social workers paid for by the sale of houses? Housing refused to homeless people unless they undergo “treatment” and “support”?
This is supposition, but with so much secrecy how can anyone know what is really happening in the homelessness industry?
21 August 2015
Sky City Casino News
This carpenter snuck up behind me in Cent City and hammered a counter one
metre and a half from my ears. I moved away, but another carpenter started up
with a nail gun.
They’ve installed in a hallway three luxurious padded benches that look
nice, but are too low for pensioners to rise from without needing to call for
help. However, they’d make good beds for
the Fred’s Van/Casino crowd.
Savoury Tuesday was held in a busy passageway near the escalators. They’re
checking loyalty cards now to stop absent patrons from using their own rubber
21 August 2015
white-haired woman livened up the Fred’s Van indoor meal on Sunday at St Bede’s
church hall when she slapped another woman on her invalid scooter.
scooter driver had called the woman “a fat slob” and made other remarks about
her weight. The woman said she was sick of people making comments about her
size and that was why she struck the scooter rider, though she says her
fingernails merely grazed the other woman’s face.
impetus was when the invalid scooter driver hit a blind man with her machine,
and then another man, and wasn’t repentant. That was when the white-haired
woman told the scooter driver to take more care, and was called “a fat slob” in
scooter driver said she was going to have the police charge the white-haired
woman with assault until two witnesses said they didn’t see anything. One said
the woman gave the scooter driver “a good backhander”.
general sentiment was against the scooter driver, as it always is. She is a
tough old girl, even charismatic, but antagonistic to nearly everyone. One can
only guess at the suffering she’s been through to make her so mean.
High quality Salvation Army volunteer
charged with murder
Michael Lyall Johnson has been charged
with the murder of Deborah Balbi in her Maylands, Adelaide home
is a highly effective volunteer with the Salvation Army at Pirie Street on
Wednesday and Saturday evenings. He is well liked and has a natural rapport
with underclass people.
remains in custody and his many friends wish him well in the trial.
FamiliesSA: Jacqueline and Graeme Bowden
A question was asked on radio ABC 891 why FamiliesSA
didn’t take away Jacqueline and Graeme Bowden's biological daughter since they
took away their foster daughter.
The foster child had lived with them from the
age of 10 months to age seven and a half years and was taken away with one-hour
notice. The reasons were indeterminate and FamiliesSA has refused to supply
documents showing the reasons for the removal.
The Reverend Peter Sandeman who is CEO of
Anglicare spoke on the same program and expressed confidence in the processes
20 August 2015
(above) Biting ants on the back step of a unit in Elizabeth administered by Anglicare. The huge nest lies below the communal outdoor area making it painful for aged tenants with impaired agility to linger on the grass or pavement. Anglicare won’t pay for a professional pest killer, yet wastes money paying that ridiculous grass cutter to cut the winter grass every two weeks. What in the world could be Anglicare's agenda?
St Andrew’s Church-at-the-Sea
The 6:00pm meal on the third Tuesday of each month at Mary’s Kitchen is
the best. Last Tuesday it was ham and pea soup or vegetarian soup plus buns and
margarine and fruit cocktail. Then chicken patties, beef patties, lamb chops,
sausages, cole slaw and potato salad.
Good bread and average fruit and vegetables were given away after the
They were short-staffed due to illnesses, but service was no different
than usual. Their auras never have jagged lights bursting outward and their
manners always have a certain kindness. The architecture of the old church adds
to the kindly atmosphere.
Missing guests included Terry the Christian (not Terry the Gambler) who
is recuperating from knee reconstruction and resultant infection. The Elder
Statesman has gone underwater diving in a lake near Alice Springs. Sparkles is
in Queensland for her sister’s birthday. Two soft-spoken new guests were there.
The falling brick problem at the back of the church has been solved, but
the “Parking area closed” sign remains though everyone ignores it.
Churches like St Andrew’s are the backbone of the underclass and
homeless welfare scene.
20 August 2015
“No, it doesn't solve the ethical
problem, which makes it tricky for you, holding others to account yet not
yourself. There are stories where names aren't changed, there are stories where
medical and other information is shared where I know your contributors neither
sought nor were given permission to give it out, and these were not the big bad
people you are calling to account. Ignoring the ethical issue doesn't make it
go away. It's good to give the powerless a voice, but it's not good to exploit
them yourself to make a point or to make a gossip column. There is a tension in
this, but not getting this privacy stuff right is only going to get people
offside who might be the ones who really care. Please don't use people up. We
need as many good people who really care as we can get.”
from "Storm Trooper"
Editor: So, what do you want removed,
and are you requesting on others’ behalf, or have they asked you to advocate on
them? Without disclosing your identity and generally speaking, what is your role in welfare?
20 August 2015
Storm Trooper replies:
“I'm suggesting you should ask
the people named their opinion. It's their privacy. Nor mine or yours or anyone
else's. And I'm suggesting that there isn't just altruism motivating the editor
nor some of the contributors. If you're happy with that ethical dilemma being
unresolved that's up to you. Merely an observation on my part"
And in reply to: "what is your role in welfare?" Storm Trooper says:
Thank you for your question. I work for service providers in the sector in a
few different areas. My personal interest is in the ethics of the sector and
making real differences in the way people are helped. I don't see why we in our
society we have an issue with homelessness when we are a wealthy country, when
there are so many public housing units empty and being vandalised, when so many
of the health and other issues homeless people face can begin to be solved with
one simple thing - housing. I want the real helpers in the sector to be
encouraged, the volunteers who give of themselves. I would like to see all
workers educated perhaps in what it might be like to walk in the shoes of the
"clients". I would like emapthy to be a requirement in the person and
job descriptions of all people who assist in the sector. I don't want to see
the powerless exploited by anyone, even those who might think they are
assisting. I want to reflect on my own practices I want to reflect on my
own practices and try to get my own actions and thought right. I am passionate
about it." 20 and 22 August 2015
The effect of a
Housing Trust Annual Inspection
An older man with health problems and without financial assets told me that
after the annual Housing Trust unit inspection he was ordered to “clean up the
place”. The aged pensioner can ride a bicycle, but can no longer walk the length
of Jetty Road in Glenelg. Nor can he bend over or move about without pain and difficulty.
Due to these health problems he was unable to “clean up the place” to the
Housing Trust’s specifications so he paid $1000 for a cleaner to do it.
The following year he was ordered again to “clean up the place”, but during
the year he had obtained X-rays of his spine from his doctor showing how his
physical condition prevented him from doing this. He said his doctor offered to
appear in court on his behalf, and without charge, if the Housing Trust placed
further pressure on him. This information was conveyed to the Housing Trust.
The man told me the Housing Trust doesn’t bother him anymore.
20 August 2015
“The Feral’s” funeral was on Monday. He died on 30 July. His girlfriend
of 16 years died of cancer a few months ago. The Feral had lots of police
trouble. One night there were nine police cars at his unit.
On 30 July he went out to buy some “Ice”, but was so unhappy that he
decided to kill himself instead. He stepped in front of a train near Glenelg.
20 August 2015
Beware of Opportunities
The doubling of involuntary housing unit inspections by Anglicare is
described by them “...to give you with an opportunity to discuss any issues you
may be with your home or your independent living arrangements.”
They add that they’ve achieved a “93% satisfaction rate”. Wow!
They take drunks and drug addicts home, or to hospitals, police stations
and hostels, and give priority to: “Those least able to
protect themselves: children, young people, women, the aged or infirm.” This
means they’re not keen on men aged 25 to 55 despite this aged group and sex
suffering a higher injury rate on the street than the preferred groups. But, in
another twist, MAP drivers are mostly men of this age.
white, Arab or Asian is not an advantage, but the Aboriginal Sobriety Group’s
service agreement with the government requires them to transport Aboriginal and
seen them take two white folk home to Morphettville.
On a good day, MAP is a good mob.
The Power of Forgiveness
I’ve felt the power of forgiveness from those who have been slighted by
this column yet have put their higher ideals above their emotional anguish.
19 August 2015
Why Can Collectors Matter
Can, scrap metal and
plastic collectors, and supermarket rubbish bin collectors are the survivors
and inspirational figures of social collapse. For many of them, civilisation
has collapsed and they’re operating at primal survival mode.
They’re also the
observers of life when people think they’re not being watched: for the rubbish
bin scavenger is hyper-vigilant by necessity.
For the majority, this minority
of scrap collectors is their barometre of social health.
19 August 2015
Queen Grandma Margaret told a man about 30-years-of-age in the free food and
clothing room to take just one beanie or scarf. He responded by grabbing three
of each then shook them in her face accusing her of stealing his land; he screamed
he was homeless in his own land.
continued the gesticulating and loud shouting back at his table. When the room went
quiet he demanded that other guests stop staring at him. Something in his eyes said
he was off the planet.
Margaret had followed him into the main hall and confronted him while holding a
phone to her ear. The Cousin commented
that Margaret was provoking him.
wasn’t exactly exalted by the confrontation, but neither did she seem to regret
it.Jo Aitch responded differently: the
lights around her head switched off.
man left the building then returned fifteen minutes later. While sitting down his
face fell forward onto the table; he appeared sedated, and that was the end of
“It's an invasion of privacy for your contributors to use
information gathered in conversations for this page without the informed
consent of those from whom it's gathered. In so doing the contributors exploit
just like those that they accuse of exploiting. It brings into question the
motivations of the contributors and even the page's editor. On this page
people's lives become the subject of what is essentially a gossip column. Not
just the people in positions of power but the powerless - the homeless, the poor,
become grist for the mill of gossip. Judging observations served up for
entertainment. The news is good,m reviews of meals are helpful, but the gossip
isn't really necesary is it?”
from "Storm Trooper" 18 August 2015
Response from Editor: Quoting
conversations in this column without permission causes me continuous anguish, as
well as angering those quoted. However,
to get an interesting and accurate reflection of the homeless soup kitchen
environment it is necessary to use direct sources. I’ve removed names and some
identifying features of those described, at the risk of sanitising the result, but
this doesn’t wholly solve the ethical problem.
The Heart of the Army
You can tell when a
so-called charitable organisation exists for the employees rather than the
clients: it closes down during the Christmas holidays when the clients need the
service the most.
Another bad sign is when
an organisation wants the premises for its own function and simply cancels
their welfare services for that period of time.
The Salvation Army and
the Youth with a Mission group maintained the Wednesday and Saturday events at
277 Pirie Street over the 2014/2015 Christmas and New Year period.
Nearly everyone notices
This Saturday evening,
the 22nd of August, the Salvation Army Territorial Youth Band will play in the
main room of Congress Hall. The underclass crowd is invited to the performance.
The cafe, sleep room and movie room will be open as usual. The meal will be
served in the Benson Room and will include roast chestnuts and marshmallows.
17 August 2015
What destroyed the Maugham Church?
Piano Player Wayne gets around town playing pipe organs and grand pianos,
but his tenure at the Maugham Church is coming to an end as they prepare to
disassemble the pipe organ and pull out the 40-year-old Yamaha Grand Piano.
It’s a beautiful church abandoned en masse by its white congregation
then used by devout Christians from Africa who themselves are being sent back
to the suburbs.
There is a mystery behind the destruction of this church. Why did the
descendants of the white settlers of South Australia abandon their mother
church? Great churches just 50-years-old don’t get destroyed by accident. The initial
damage was sustained by the congregation; the physical destruction of the
building is merely the result.
The site will be used for sterile high rise flats apparently for
disabled people, which is the only positive feature of the “redevelopment”.
Previous housing on the site was by homeless people sleeping in the
17 August 2015
name of the game
wasn’t going to hit you,” an elderly Salvation Army woman told The Cousin as he
ducked for cover. She had reached across his face to pick up a used coffee cup
from the end of the table.
More Cross Contamination
“He said I’m cross contaminating,”
a volunteer moaned to others servers at the 6:30pm soup van at Hurtle Square. But
she didn’t change her behaviour of touching the soup ladle onto cups being
refilled for guests.
“I don’t think anyone else will
turn up,” this same volunteer said at 7:10pm when the soup van was at Whitmore
Square despite their schedule saying they arrived at 7:15pm. She wanted to
This, according to Lance
Armstrong, is indicative that the volunteer is not there to serve others, but
is full of her own “wonderful” actions helping others.
In contrast, Lance said, a dental
nurse served soup with precision, holding the ladle well above the cup being
refilled so saliva doesn’t past back onto the ladle. Lance says the movement of
her hand and arm is like a ballet movement.
17 August 2015
The Mary MagdaleneCentre may be the leading light in the battle to
give homeless people access to salt and pepper shakers, but its supply of
eating cutlery is regressive.
Their tray of re-washed and occasionally stained plastic cutlery is the
only “ugh factor” in their excellent Saturday evening free meal for the poor.
17 August 2015
over 30 in the underclass scene are usually more alienated from each other than
men. A change was evident at the Salvation Army on Saturday night in a group of
women sitting amongst themselves.
discovered a subtle hair styling, make-up and dress sense they previously
lacked. Even more startling was the confidence in the manner they moved about
the room. Their sense of personal power was inspiring to observe.
a bit slow
Two Mobile Assistance Patrol vans
were parked without passengers for twenty minutes on Beaumont Road last
Saturday evening at 8:30pm.
16 August 2015
Father Christmas not amused
Old Grandma Margaret told Father Christmas that shorts were cheap at Big
W when he asked if any were available at the free clothing room on Saturday
night at the Salvation Army.
Grandma went into the secret room and found a coat in a pleasant reddish
pink colour. She went to the blind woman and had her try it on.
That seemed equitable enough though Mr Christmas also remembers Grandma telling
a volunteer passing out items to others not to give one to him.
Mr Christmas finds it easy to forgive and in a few weeks he will see the
humour in the incidents.
16 August 2015
Sky City Adelaide Casino News
“Train Wreck” wants to join the
circus. He said that twenty-five years in the public service has prepared him
for the role.
He was critical of Savoury
Tuesday being held once again near the toilet doors due to Cent City still taken
over by painters and carpenters. They layered the carpet with flaked paint on
Wednesday, which was an improvement because it covered the carpet’s hypnotic swirling
lines designed to confuse the mind and make a person more vulnerable to losing their
The painters transformed the lower
half of the walls from Housing Trust cream to black, perhaps to stop losers
from scuffing the walls with their shoes. The painters frequently downed tools to
congregate in the hall to discuss their personal lives.
The old farts occasionally jolted
at their machines on reaction to the hammering and sawing coming from the new
A guard walks around Cent City
with a wooden club he uses to bang shut the money boxes on the machines. His manner
of swinging the club as he walks possibly belies a hidden desire to cull those decrepit
pensioners who hang around the Casino 18 hours a day, and even try to sleep
A lump in the carpet in front of
the Pop-up bar under construction tripped up one old pensioner. Last week, an
old man left a shoe in front of the Pelican Pete machine. An hour later he was
sitting in another part of the Casino wondering why one of his feet wasn’t
wearing a shoe. I told him that a guard had taken it to ‘Lost and Found’.
A woman told me her Platinum Card
was of little worth except for free drinks and parking, but she doesn’t drink
or drive. She said it requires huge losses each month to maintain the card or staff
will grab it from her hands.
City told the stock exchange their profits are up across New Zealand and
Australia except in Adelaide where results have been “disappointing”.
trouble with Wayne
Piano Player Wayne was sitting at
Lance Armstrong’s table and was returning some natural health remedy books that
Lance had lent him when Old Grandma Margaret and Salvation Army property
manager Sue M. pounced on him. The problem was Wayne’s Therapy Cat. They didn’t
want it in the Pirie Street Salvation Army building.
Wayne gave them copies of
research papers he’d obtained from the Parliamentary Research Library. He said
the research showed that his Therapy Cat was allowed to enter the Salvation
Margaret and Sue backed off, but
their engagement with Wayne prompted another man to grab the Therapy Cat’s
chair as if about to throw it and the cat out the door.
Wayne said Jo Aitch intervened,
but the incident shook Wayne and he fled home.
Wayne said there wasn’t a problem
with his Therapy Cat sitting on the piano at the Hilton Hotel Brasserie three
weeks ago while he tapped the ivories. Nor has there been a problem with his cat
in Citi Cross food hall providing it stays in the bag. He said he’s taken her
to dentists, doctors and hospitals without a problem.
However, he often takes the cat
out of the bag and that infuriates some people.
But he wonders why with such
suffering in the world Sue M. and Margaret expend such effort to expel a sick
man and his Therapy Cat.
Note: On Friday, Wayne was in
hospital for stomach ulcer cauterization treatment.
16 August 2015
The Quiet Man of Glenelg
The Quiet Man found on his Monday night walk eight people sleeping
outside in the Glenelg area. If they’ve in a bad situation he shows them a warmer place to sleep. “Warmer”
means less rain and less wind. Without fanfare he gives them blankets, food and
hygiene products. 15 August 2015
Not a Charity
The Stockbroker Derelict asked a Pitt Boss at the Adelaide Casino how
the points are awarded on the Roulette Table for the purpose of qualifying for
a Diamond Card. The answer was, “We’re not a charity.”
15 August 2015
“Train Wreck” noted the exposed windows in Cent City at the Adelaide
Casino. “I could jump out,” he said.
15 August 2015
WestCare washing machines
The WestCare homeless centre washing machine that has been broken since
February won’t be repaired, according to the Vitamin Derelict. It will either
stay broken and left where it is or be removed.
It’s not as if WestCare is financially broke; it’s something else,
15 August 2015
Fred’s Van Gawler Place Thursday
The vegetarian curry at Fred’s Van was nourishing, but lacked any curry flavour.
It resembles a generic goulash designed not to offend anyone or please anyone:
like hospital or Anglicare Food Barn food.
Nourishing is a homeless codeword for lacking flavour.
15 August 2015
Rose Marie Sheehy
The rumour is circulating that two people associated with the Parklands
scene know more than they’ve let on about the death of Rose.
14 August 2015
Hutt Street Showers
The Vitamin Derelict told me last night at Fred’s Van of the anguish of
new people using the four-minute timed showers at the Hutt Street Centre. They
expect a decent hot shower then the timer snaps off. It won’t start again for a
Anyone sleeping on the ground or on concrete during the winter knows the
syndrome of reduced core body temperature. You wear five coats all day, but
still feel cold.
Meanwhile, the “Walk a Mile in My Boots” fundraiser has raised $109,000
for the Hutt Street Centre. This was a brilliant fundraiser slogan, far better
than a “Shower Four Minutes in My Filthy Cubicle” fundraiser.
But who gets the money? Will the four-minute shower people get an extra
minute of hot water?
Perhaps, in a wild moment of generosity, the Hutt Street Centre
management could increase the shower timer to six minutes, and maybe even give
the cubicles a proper clean. Is this a rash hope?
14 August 2015
Anglicare lifestyle inspections
A tenant with Anglicare in Kilburn told me Anglicare has doubled their
housing and lifestyle inspections from once to twice a year. He always tells
them that repairs aren’t needed because he doesn’t want them giving the key to some
tradesman who may enter his unit when he
isn’t there. 14 August 2015
Jasmine Restaurant at Hindmarsh Square
The Uniting Church organisers proffered bananas, bread, fruit and boiled
eggs with lots of salt and pepper shakers at Hindmarsh Square last night.
Later, the chefs from the Jasmine Restaurant brought over containers of chicken
and rice curry. The church people then passed out plastic cutlery, cordial and
a high quality paper serviette.
Once I got rid of the bird flesh to the Viking Can Collector the meal
was terrific; the Jasmine mob knows how to mix curries.
A young woman walked by and disgust passed over her face seeing the
bicycles and bags of cans of The Viking and The Regretful Can Collector. Yet if
she measured the morality of her life to that of The Viking she might come away
Due to lack of seating, and the convenient take-away containers, the
crowd quickly disbanded. Some rushed to Janet Mead’s 6:30pm soup van at Hurtle
Square while others began the more leisurely stroll to Fred’s Van at Gawler
Jasmine Restaurant Free Meal Hindmarsh Square opposite the RAA 5:00 - 5:30pm fruit and bread and collect tickets 6:00pm Containers delivered from Jasmine Restaurant
14 August 2015
Armstrong is planning a free meal guide for Adelaide. He wants to put the
information on a piece of card paper that will fold into the size of a credit
A well known man living outside left his bags on a bench at Gawler Place
three nights ago after the van had left. To prevent the bag from being stolen
two Good Samaritans took it to the police station across the road.
When the man returned they told him of their good deed. The homeless man
was furious. The bag contained his drug paraphernalia; he could never collect
14 August 2015
Woodville Hotel kicks out one-cent gambler
A pokies player was followed out of the Woodville Hotel
by an employee who approached him and said, “I don’t want you in my room again,”
referring to the pokies room.
When the pokies player asked why the manager said there
had been complaints from customers, but that the nature of those complaints was
The gambler doubts this. He is an honest man and easy
to get along with, but he plays the one-cent machines, never loses more than a
dollar, and takes advantage of the free coffee and food, and J Card offers. This
is all legal.
He suspects he was kicked out because the Woodville
Hotel wasn’t making any money from him and that the manager waited for him to
leave the building to preclude witnesses to the conversation.
It is illegal for pokies licensees to kick patrons because
they gamble only a little. I doubt there weren’t any complaints from other
The one-cent gambler’s friends are urging him to take
the matter to the Gambling Commission.
13 August 2015
Fred’s Van, Gawler Place, Tuesday
The crowd of servers from four weeks ago were back with
their crazy ticket system. The old man said clients were required to come to
the front of the queue to pick up a free ticket, which caused confusion with
who was in front.
The servers put the table in front of the glass doors,
in the middle of the queue, which also added confusion.
We homeless scene veterans adjusted to the confusion
well, but for new people it added to their anxiety. You have to laugh, though.