(above) Homeless charities give away so much sugary foods that reduce health, but never mosquito repellent. When sleeping with blankets, mosquitos are a major irritant that reduces sleep quality. When purchasing a gift for your local homeless person, please consider bug repellent.
Some Christmas Day Free Lunches
Hutt Street Centre at 258 Hutt Street, Adelaide: Free breakfast as usual then special Christmas lunch plus presents about 11:30am. WestCare at Miller’s Lane (off 212 Wright Street) at 12 noon. St Lukes at Whitmore Square: 11:30am to 2:30pm. Pilgrim Church at 12 Flinders Street, Adelaide 4:30pm to 6:30pm Semaphore Uniting Church on Semaphore Road about 12 noon. UnitingCare Wesley, Dale Street, Port Adelaide. 12 noon. Entrance might be from back of building.
Mary Magdalene’s last meal for 2015
It was good, but not great. Silly Billy Junior’s courageous attempts to liven the atmosphere by throwing serviettes and crackers across the room were censured by killjoy patrons for his “silly behaviour”. It reminded me of the great fight between Chris the scrap collector and Father Christmas in 2007 that started with someone throwing buns across the table.
Melted Lindt chocolate and cold orange juice were distributed in the laneway.
The Man from Broken Hill swooped Christmas decorations off the table and into his bag like the two criminals in the movie, “Home Alone”. He didn’t even wait for the meal to finish. Outside, he intimidated a man so severely that the other left the laneway for ten minutes.
A guest who used to work for Aldi’s has applied for a job in one of their new Adelaide stores. He said Aldi employ only young people. Marianne was there with her new boyfriend, but her aura says she’s still her own boss. Cockroach mocked her, out of earshot, hopefully. Spanish Peter says the police are still investigating the man who choked him earlier this year. Peter says he’s got him where he wants him.
Wendy and the black fellas played harmonicas in the laneway while an Israeli Jew and his girlfriend helped serve the meals. The Jewish man’s aura collapsed when I asked his girlfriend if they were Jews. I didn’t mention Gaza. Nor the young man who twisted my neck and tore apart my placard when I protested against the attack on Gaza earlier this year.
Old Sam hasn’t been seen in the homeless scene for one month.
The Magdalene Centre Saturday meals re-start in Moore Street, Adelaide on 6 February 2016 at 6:00pm, when Grinder will be welcomed back.
24 December 2015 Note added after her death on 2 January 2016: “Marianne” is Emma Kate Hines, sadly gone.
The early start for the Hurtle Square 8:30am Saturday barbecue works best during the hot months. Last Saturday, the church people served quality grilled meat off the barbecue along with fried eggs and onions plus white bread, cold orange juice, tea and coffee and tinned biscuits.
The general mood was serene amongst the 20 old men, five or six women and a few younger men. Missing were Lorraine, Stacey, Marianne, The Man formerly from Kilburn and Big Ron. Grinder and Lee were there as was Ronald from the St Vincent de Paul Homeless Shelter.
An elderly church woman told me the servers and cooks pay for the food from their own money. She said they’ll have the barbecues right through the holiday period when people most need them including Saturday 26 December when it will probably be held in front of the Christadelphian church on Halifax Street, just west of Hurtle Square.
24 December 2015
Salvo Life Sentence
The Man from Broken Hill was kicked out of the Salvation Army for life. He’d been accused of hitting the Equity Queen.
Piano Player Wayne has no sympathy for the Equity Queen and said that another Army worker told him that sooner or later someone will hit her hard.
The Queen is over seventy and has spent a large part of her life working for the Army.
24 December 2015
Red hat reappears
The “Most Active Volunteer” at St Bede’s Drop-in-Centre recovered his missing Los Vegas red hat. A certain person anonymously handed it back via the Reverend Ken Bechaz.
24 December 2015
Ruf Us joint effort with Cos We Care
Due to their huge amount of produce kept in their fridges, Cos We Care will distribute food on the steps of the Hutt Street Centre along with Ruf Us on Saturday 26 December.
They’ll be there about 8:30am while Ruf Us should arrive just after 9:00am.
Cos We Care will return the next day, Sunday 27 December at 7:30am, as usual.
24 December 2015
That other mysterious barbecue
Last Sunday afternoon at 2:00pm, an unknown group set up two gazebos and two large barbecues in the South Parklands, near the Pulteney Grammar school footbridge. It was called, “Anything Free for Anyone in Need”, but hardly anyone knew it was happening. Nor did it appear to be a free barbecue; more like a private picnic.
A dozen tribal Aboriginals hovered back of a small building once the smell of grilled meat filled the air. Another seven or eight regulars from the homeless scene rummaged through the used clothing: what do they do with it all? There was also bottled water and a few other food items, but no hot tea or coffee.
An organiser told me they’d advertised on Facebook. They’d wanted to help others, but missed their target audience except for the worthy black fellas.
A volunteer said she lived in protected housing and was putting her life back together.
Their position was in an area little frequented by underclass people. It was close to Pulteney Grammar and a children’s playground. Nor was there nearby seating: chairs always attract exhausted homeless and underclass people.
Distributing leaflets at Fred’s Van and the Brian Burdekin clinic might have helped. Or the Hutt Street Centre if that establishment would tolerate competition. Continuity is also important. Pop-ups are disadvantaged unless in a prime position. They should have set up further east along South Terrace near Hutt Street where Christian Life Centre and Cos We Care distribute their food.
But they tried. Hopefully, they’ll return.
24 December 2015
Budgie bites the dust
A woman expecting to go to jail was worried that no one would feed her budgie. She took it from its cage and put it on the floor. She felt the crunch of its bones under her foot. Its wings continued fluttering so she raised her foot again and angled the heel on its neck. No more fluttering.
She went to see her lawyer for an update on her case. He had good news: the prosecution had dropped charges and she wasn’t going to jail.
23 December 2015
Fire Truck Wayne in the clink
Fire Truck Wayne was sentenced to six years in jail. His mother, Mrs Rosalie Fire Truck, told me. She was in the slammer herself, but was recently released.
Fire Truck Wayne’s mother knew Piano Player Wayne’s father, who was a tram driver. Piano Player Wayne denies any further relationship to the Fire Truck family.
23 December 2015
In praise of spy cameras
A woman praised the installation of spy cameras at the Salvation Army in Pirie Street. She said they must have been effective in curbing The Bait Woman’s aggression.
While The Bait Woman is a semi-invalided elderly woman, she brings her 10-year-old granddaughter to homeless joints then makes accusing eyes at men who talk to the little kid.
However, Quiz Master Bob says she is all huff and bluff and crumbles if confronted.
23 December 2015
Laura’s pet pig
Laura from Cos We Care had bruises on one thigh that continued up to her rib cage after her 150kg pet pig rammed her up against a wall. What happened to the pig is anyone’s guess.
23 December 2015
Have you noticed?
When some homeless agencies lose part of their funding, they reduce basic services to those living outside while the salaried bureaucrats remain in their offices.
23 December 2015
The Man Formerly from Kilburn said that many small pubs in Adelaide have empty rooms upstairs filled with cardboard boxes. He said the government has introduced so much bureaucratic red tape that the owners don’t bother renting them.
23 December 2015
(above) Discreetly obtaining water is a problem for those living outside. Council workers frequently remove the handles from taps. This leaves little alternative, but to attract attention by traipsing across a busy road or entering a children's playground.
(above) The answer is a ten dollar tap key from Bunnings or other hardware stores. If not an essential Christmas gift for a homeless person, it will at least be a conversation starter.
(above) In one swift move the person living outside has access to potable tap water. What a gift.
A nasty free barbecue
The Ruf Us man delivered AJ’s home cooked food and bottles of water then shook hands with each person and said goodbye. He’d hardly left the steps of the empty Hutt Street Centre when a younger tall man with tattooed thick arms invited us to a free barbecue in the parklands opposite the Adelaide Theosophical Society.
When we arrived we found three tall young men with thick muscular arms and a sturdy and fit woman. One of the men fried meat on a portable barbecue while the woman distributed used clothing and tins of tuna. There was also an esky of chilled bottled water.
Rather than welcoming us, one of our mysterious hosts fixed his eyes on each person for five or ten minutes then gave me an unblinking 20 minutes. One guest shouted at him to stop “looking daggers” at him. The strong young staring man wouldn’t stop until the thin-armed guest took off his shirt and demanded they settle the matter behind a tree. The staring man said, “These people are here to help you. If you’re behaving this way you should leave.”
The thin-armed guest returned his plate of food to the staring man who ready accepted it then continued his staring with the same intensity. A friend of Trent Jefferis also yelled at the man to stop staring. Rather strangely, the other two men, one of whom was in the RAAF, ignored the ensuing argument as did the woman who filled the bags of the supremely manipulative Demos Roussos.
I suggested to the staring man that he’d do better adopting a “posture of humility.” He said that was the way he’d been brought up, whatever that meant.
The four volunteers wouldn’t describe their purpose for being there. A police officer in plain clothing watched for a short time, but left before the arguments and shouting.
It was an ugly free barbecue that spoiled the day for the dozen guests, most of whom lived outside.
Perhaps those giving away the meat and water and clothing had the best intentions, but it backfired due to their inexperience in dealing with people near the breaking point due to the unremitting pressure of homelessness.
Or perhaps the barbecue was a PSYOP, or a training exercise using the homeless as guinea pigs.
22 December 2015
Jews, Muslims and Atheists
These groups aren’t well represented well as benefactors in the Adelaide CBD homeless scene. It’s mostly Christians and Hindus. However, there was a Jewish man from Israel serving guests at the Magdalene Centre last Saturday.
22 December 2015
Silly Billy’s father visited him last month from Western Australia. Silly Billy Sr. came by boat then returned by plane.
Silly Billy is a serious and industrious man though occasionally acts in a way that some people have described as silly.
21 December 2015
Volunteer hopping mad
St Bede’s Drop-in-Centre’s “Most Active Volunteer” was beside himself on Wednesday when he couldn’t find his red Las Vegas hat. He thought someone had considered it part of the free clothing display.
Centrelink had already aggravated him that morning with their faulty NewStart phone reporting system. He won’t accept an invalid pension on moral grounds and says he’s capable of working so he shouldn’t collect an invalid pension. That’s morality.
21 December 2015
Do Unto Others Christmas Party 277 Pirie Street, Adelaide Saturday 20 December 2015 5:00pm to 12midnight
Cold water and cups were left at the back door where nearly a hundred optimistic and relatively happy people waited for up to an hour in the shade as the sun retreated behind the buildings on the 41°C day. Out front, two men slept on the verandah.
Fred from Port Augusta talked about living off the land with his white family near Jamestown and Peterborough. The Eskimo woman acted so bizarrely that even the Street Fighting Woman became fascinated. Former cane cutter Nick from the Laura and Alfred West Cottages homes watched her antics: he’s seen everything. Superhuman Des from Elizabeth East was inside: he stayed awake for 38 hours while working with the Salvation Army food service during the Pinery bushfire in the mid-north.
When the back doors opened, the rush quickly filled the atrium to capacity. I relinquished my table to two women with kids, but couldn’t find another chair so slinked off to the Magdalene Centre.
Upon returning after 8:00pm, the Forever Hopeful choir had nearly finished their performance. They’ve improved exponentially since their last appearance. Fans in front intermittently blocked my view, but the sound was as beautiful as were the expressions on the singers’ faces. The red-haired choir mistress has discovered and cultivated the best aspects of each singer’s voice. The cumulative effect was an inspiring and uplifting feeling due to both the sound and the emotional warmth generated from the singers. Guy’s violin accompaniment sweetened the audience mood even further. The Forever Hopeful choir is nearly the most inspiring event on the underclass calendar.
Someone said John Swan of “Swanee” had sung, but I missed that. John has throughout the year prepared meals and taught music to the underclass with such modesty that he has become an emotional medicine to others.
Pirie Street Riot had just three members. The professionally trained and talented Guy sang most of the songs, but it was Gerry (Jerry) who drew the chanting of his name. The drummer with one forearm covered in a strangely knitted garment was a lucky addition to the smaller band.
Guy underperformed in that he should write about his career in pawn shops and his nights sleeping in the parklands. We need someone to sing of our lives “on the streets”. In a world of despair and early deaths these artists represent beacons of hope.
The free food room hadn’t any food, but was crowded with guests eager to try the photography machine that showed a person’s image on a screen before taking the picture. It was a dream machine for the poseur.
The photogenic Jo Aitch posed with Terry the Gambler and his elderly girlfriend. Ms Aitch has the magical quality of a model who appears normal until put before a camera. In her everyday life, she transmutes those energies for the welfare of others. Terry the Gambler has a similar magical quality, but in the opposite direction. Gorilla children in the African jungle would have nightmares if their gorilla parents wore rubbers masks of Terry’s face.
I didn’t see the food served, but someone said it was better than the Magdalene Centre, which usually produces superior meals. When it had became apparent there wasn’t enough room in the main hall, tables were set up on the verandah, but that was still inadequate. Half of the Benson Room should have been used then more people would have stayed after the meal.
I should have stayed despite the crowding and gone to the church service and seen more of Forever Hopeful.
Barista coffee and bakers’ cream buns were served at 8:00pm then the pizzas appeared later.
Sleepy Bill with his new haircut, Craig from Gilles Plains, Mel and others played cards with Card Player David. Sparkles was outraged and accused Card Player David of insulting her new singing coach, John Swan. She’s usually outraged about something.
The air-conditioning was more than adequate in keeping the building cool after the over 40C° day.
21 December 2015
There weren’t any arguments except when brain-damaged Gary threatened an old man who responded by out staring him.
There were 11 volunteers who provided cold Iced Coffee, sausages with bread and sauce, bread described by one client as “the husband basher”, fresh meat pies and vegetable pasties, lots of sandwiches, sugary buns, fruit and vegetables, limited amounts of soft drinks, stale “Wheaty Slice” bars, yoghourt bars five months past the Use-By date, fresh homemade fruit cakes, coffee and tea, and other stuff.
They asked the Viking Can Collector to take their photo before they left. He got a perfect shot.
Fred’s Van Wednesday 16 December 2015 Gawler Place, Adelaide
21 December 2015
Mary’s Kitchen Christmas Party review
Listening to the choir in the courtyard was voluntary, so despite cold drinks with crackers and cheese being served there, guests rushed through to the old church hall leaving the singers to sing for church regulars who mostly talked amongst themselves. By 6:30pm there were about 30 in the courtyard and over a hundred inside.
I sat with Leroy, John the Baptist and the white-haired derelict known as David Roe then moved to a larger table with Piano Player Wayne and Fire Truck Wayne’s mum.
After Reverend Adam Tretheway said Grace, Sparkles got hold of the microphone and told everyone to sing happy birthday to her boyfriend, Peter. They rarely see their daughter as she was grabbed by welfare and given to another family.
Most of the vast crowd of Mary’s Kitchen volunteers who had served during the year were not there, but the hall was jam packed regardless. The dignitaries sat at a table by themselves, which was disappointing as I’d wanted to shout at them.
The meal included roast beef, roast potatoes, boiled peas and carrots, creamed cauliflower plus desert of cake and custard. No salt and pepper. No cold drinks at the tables.
The Ghost Who Walks and The Face walked out before the food was served. They said the service was too slow and went to Fred’s Van where they had Marcellina’s pizza and salmon plus the usual Tuesday sausages, sandwiches, sugary buns, and fruit and vegetables.
Liberal MP Matt Williams arrived late. He watched the crowd like a hawk then kneeled before an old Councilor and animatedly blasted him with what appeared to be dire predictions. He then swooped over to Liberal activist Piano Player Wayne whom he listened to for ten minutes. He told Wayne that “we’re being outflanked”. Wayne’s $3000 therapy cat was given a chair to itself.
The choir began a second stint inside the dining room hall. They received a luke-warm response.
Social worker Lisa McGrath introduced the evening’s volunteers. They received luke-warm clapping because most of the regular workers weren’t there, and for some strange reason the volunteers rarely receive huge applause despite being so effective during the year. Somehow, Matt Williams was introduced as a hero. He received like-warm applause plus booing from one guest.
The Elder Statesman introduced Jungle Philips and his girlfriend Frantastic, who did a dance routine that involved running up and down an aisle between tables, forcing waiters to jump aside. The old Councilor looked at them in disbelief. They received a huge applause.
Sparkles sang Amazing Grace and received huge applause.
Johnny Johnson has had mouth surgery for cancer and he sang Danny Boy. Many of his friends and other guests cheered and laughed. He received the wildest applause of the evening and while many were laughing at him the football manager for an SANFL team didn’t laugh, but stood up and shook his hand.
Whether we’re jeering or clapping, the underclass prefer to hear their own people.
After the Bags of Love were distributed there was a mad exchange between the guests. Piano Player Wayne has diabetes so he wanted all my sugar items; I have a caffeine addiction so I wanted all his coffee products. I also got rid of the Bag of Love MSG crackers as they give me savage migraines.
I liked the evening and it was well worth going there.
The next Tuesday free meal will be held at 6:00pm on 2 February 2016 at St Andrew’s at the Sea Uniting Church, Jetty Road, Glenelg. They recently said they would open in mid-February, but have brought this forward.
21 December 2015
Pilgrim Church Lounge
pre-Christmas meal review
“Where’s Michael?” Self-funded retiree Mrs Judith Telstra’s voice pierced the silence as she turned in the quiet queue in the Pilgrim Church hall looking for her new protégé. Movement stalled when she demanded extra roast chicken from the 80-year-old server who wasn’t having any of that.
With buoyed confidence when Michael arrived in his crisp business shirt, Mrs Telstra launched into a scathing tirade against Laura, claiming the latter had slandered her. But Laura’s exceptionally good reputation makes her invincible. She sat at the back table with Card Player David, The Vitamin Derelict and other supporters.
A thin man raised Terry the Gambler’s ire by loudly telling everyone about Karen for whom he’d bought two drinks in a pub then suggested they go to the South Parklands for jig-a-jig.
But Terry the Gambler himself was chatting up another woman until his elderly girlfriend arrived. He grumpily complained that everyone in the room was so grumpy and then began shouting about the bad treatment he’d received at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
Overhead fan blades twirling beneath tubular fluorescent lights set up a flickering pulse that pushed me toward seizure mode, so I set up my own blinking to change the flashes entering my epileptic brain.
Peter from DIRC was wearing the same checked shorts he’d worn when he got kicked out of the Casino for using the place as a jogging circuit. He’d also predicted Australia would be attacked by 1000 Indonesian jet boats, but this failed to eventuate.
A good-natured man resembling Mr Bean talked about his upcoming trip to Sydney for a Christadelphian conference.
The excellent meal was roast chicken, Mediterranean salad, cold pasta with a nice herb flavour, roast potatoes. The hall was free from Muzak and spy cameras so the conversations were rich and varied, but there wasn’t any coffee and not enough food. Anyone who arrived after 1:00pm could suck air despite the advertisement saying it was open until 1:30pm. This creates food anxiety. However, both the meal and the atmosphere were healthy and the old folk who provided it were generous.
The actual Lounge, usually open from 10:00am to 2:00pm was closed because the administrator was crook, which was disappointing considering the 41 degrees day.
As I walked across Flinders Street I saw some blankets hidden amongst the bushes across the lane from the Reserve Bank and State Administration Centre.
The Pilgrim Church Lounge pre-Christmas party was held on Wednesday 16 December 2015. The Christmas Day meal begins at 4:30pm on Christmas Day at 12 Flinders Street, Adelaide. Entrance is from the back. This is a good one.
21 December 2015
Unity Housing trickery
The Man Formerly from Kilburn was told by Alex the case manager at the Hutt Street Centre that he was next in line for accommodation at The Terrace homeless apartment building.
But The Man has recently discovered from a Unity employee that he is just one of 30 people on the priority waiting list to get into The Terrace.
The Man says the bureaucrats have become politicians and frequently lie.
19 December 2015
St Bede’s Christmas Party review
Four people walked away when awaiting guests told them they wouldn’t be allowed in because they hadn’t registered beforehand. This included Nathan who is a regular patron.
When the doors opened, a fifth man who hadn’t registered was let in. Entry time was two hours later than the usual breakfast so patrons habituated to arriving at a certain time stood under the verandah without the usual table and chairs.
The strict registration protocol was due to St Bede’s not having the huge volunteer base of Mary’s Kitchen at St Andrew’s Church at the Sea. The same seven or eight people provide the twice weekly breakfasts 52 weeks of the year. They arrive up to two hours before opening time then spend at least an hour after closing to clean up and debrief. Their commitment and abilities are high, but they can do only so much.
One interloper was “The Demanding Vegetarian”. He’d only been there once during the year, but managed to register for the Christmas party. Once accepted, he set out his requirements for special food to be purchased for him plus he wouldn’t allow photographs. The other vegetarian eats whatever is available, but misses the meat products.
Warren Johncock’s Flashbacks played 1960’s songs as we entered the hall. The Anglicare choir sang about ice and snow and sleds whereas the Mary’s Kitchen choir branched out into dry ground and burnt grass.
St Bede’s drop-in-centre coordinator Jill Rivers was the master of ceremonies. Despite being an employee, she is universally liked and respected. Chaplain Peter Burke asked the audience to listen to the words of one song, but the noise was overpowering. I would have liked to have had a song sheet in that instance.
Krusher Karl’s girlfriend was there after at least a six-month absence. She missed the DUO nights at the Salvation Army, also, for fear of The Bait Woman.
She discovered that she had many friends who wanted her back. It was another round lost by The Bait Woman who had taken advantage of Krusher Karl’s absence as he’s still in the slammer in Western Australia. The Bait Woman sat at another table with her two boyfriends and granddaughter. She growled as she ate and ate.
Malcolm the Nice sang “You are my sunshine,” to great applause. He learnt to sing while a jackeroo and keeps up the skill by practicing in the bathtub. He told the audience that coming to St Bede’s was the best decision he’d ever made.
Meanwhile, Malcolm the Nasty is in Sydney, up to no good. The St Bede’s Christmas Party was held on Wednesday 15 December from 10:30am to 1:00pm. It was a nice party, but improvements should be made to the registration process so that no one is turned away.
19 December 2015
Police attend Christmas homeless meal
A man was sitting in a fountain at Hindmarsh Square with is pigeon and Bantam chicken. He later came over to where the crowd was gathered opposite the RAA building awaiting free food from the Jasmine Restaurant.
Piano Player Wayne took a photograph of the chicken and pigeon. The man demanded one dollar; he said the birds were part of his street act. Wayne wouldn’t pay. He threatened to smash both Wayne and his phone. Wayne said he’d call the police. The man dared him to call them. Wayne did. The police searched the man, questioned him, did a warrant check then escorted him away from Hindmarsh Square along with his Act. He wasn’t arrested, but missed the Jasmine Restaurant Christmas meal.
What bothered Piano Player Wayne was that no one intervened in the dispute despite the other man threatening him.
19 December 2015
A friend of Trident said he was having circulation problems prior to his death and that a doctor had talked of sawing off one of his legs. So he might not have died from an overdose, but rather from a primary heart condition.
It’s hard to fathom that such a dynamic fellow in the homeless scene died so suddenly when others who appear as if already dead, power on decade after decade.
18 December 2015
DUO Wednesday at Congress Hall
The beaming Goth Lady arrived in a daring slinky red gown. She appeared like a pure soul emerging from a dark well. One of the non-Emo girls wore a sash around her body that stated: 18 and legal. The other non-Emo girl dyed her hair white like that of Piano Player Wayne, and wore an old-fashioned summer dress.
Quiz Master Bob was at his baritone best and got everyone to enthusiastically sing Happy Birthday to someone. I can’t remember what he was wearing.
Joylene (Joline-Joline) grabbed Mr Whitehead and shouted, “Your body or your life.”
Jelena walked in full of energy while Sharka the Bohemian maintained her disguise as a severe woman. James the barista watched the scene intently, waiting to pounce. Someone’s swag and clothing lay in front of the cafe roller door. The mighty Army air conditioners blasted cool air through the atrium. Guy attentively managed the scene and remembered each human in the hall.
The male volunteers were tall and white and shaved their legs. “What is the world coming to?” someone asked The Man Formerly from Kilburn. He said he didn’t know.
The worthy Mr Whitehead helped Cowboy, 76, set up the chairs and tables, once he’s recovered from Joline-Joline’s ultimatum. Only Cowboy was trusted in the backroom where the hampers are stored. Guy stopped me in my tracks.
Cowboy explained that if he throws a fit then no one should lean over him when he hits the floor as he’ll grab them by the throat and not let go. He then jumped into the air three times and ran laughing into the back room to gather more chairs.
The ex-Holden welder who lived in Crazy Cottage for six years was doubtful about the “Indian” rice and meat stew, but found it to his liking. I asked John Swan for just the rice and he actually delivered it within five minutes. Most staff members take thirty minutes or forget the request. The brownish rice was flavoured wonderfully, and wasn’t simply white rice boiled to death. Those Indians know how to cook. There wasn’t any salt and pepper. The meal didn’t need any, but I add it anyway.
A horribly sun burnt homeless white man arrived sweating and gasping. He drank some water and ate some rice near the front counter and was offered a sleeping bag for the night.
Leo the Lion was in fine form: so easy to get along with once you know his parameters.
I left early to visit Fred’s Van, but should have stayed.
Do Unto Others (Salvation Army and Youth With A Mission) 277 Pirie Street, Adelaide Every Wednesday 5pm to 7:30pm 5:00pm: Coffee and cordial 6:00pm: Pleasant meal followed by cards and conversation
18 December 2015
Silly rules at the Adelaide CBD
Southwest Community Centre
Demis Roussos and Lil were escaping the heat at this Adelaide City Council joint in Sturt Street near Whitmore Square. The air conditioning was effective.
Demis was lying on a couch with his feet on the arm rest. His legs were swollen and he was trying to get the fluid moving back through his body. Lil was mixing some food then went outside and sat in the 42 degree heat.
A 40-year-old Arab-looking man was boiling his Turkish kettle on the stove. The librarian politely told him he could finish boiling his coffee, but in future the use of the stove was limited to the cooking classe. People had recently been burnt, he said, adding that the Arab could use the electric jug. The Arab said nothing, but took his kettle off the stove and went back to his laptop at a table.
Such petty rules insult taxpayers whose money keeps the place operating. It also discourages the class of people who won’t tolerate insulting rules. And doesn’t everyone have a stove at home and is competent to use it?
However, the polite staff welcome homeless people on brutally hot days.
South West Community Centre Community Centre 171 Sturt St, Adelaide ph 8203 7801 Open 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday to Friday
18 December 2015
The white man from New Zealand living in his van on South Terrace told me a Centrelink employee said his application for Disability Support Payments has been refused.
He’s been without an income for over four months and partly grew up in Australia when his British parents took the family to New Zealand where he became an NZ citizen before returning to Australia. New Zealand citizens get Medicare, Aged and Disability Pensions, but not the dole.
The 62-year-old man has had three heart attacks, has a stent that doctors suspect is clogged, went to the hospital twice last month, has a degenerative spine that doctors say will only get worse, has trouble walking and is severely depressed. He was certainly depressed and emotionally vacant at the Salvation Army on Wednesday evening.
“How is he expected to live?” a homeless man living in a nearby carpark sympathised.
The New Zealand man plans to appeal the decision in the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, but depression and ill health are weakening his resolve and mental strength. His van becomes an oven during the day.
The van’s registration was due to expire last week and he feared it would be towed away, or that he’d have to sell it. He went to the Salvation Army and asked for help: the reply was a stern, “No.” Then an Army volunteer pulled out her personal credit card and re-registered the van for six months, from her own money.
17 December 2015
(above) Nothing expensive, just a small wrapped pack of plastic cutlery, serviette, hand freshener, and sachets of tea, coffee, sugar and hot chocolate thoughtfully assembled then given to guests by Nicole at the Ruf Us homeless meal on the steps of the closed Hutt Street Centre last Saturday morning at 9:15am.
(above) The double building of the St Vincent de Paul Homeless joint in Whitmore Square.
“Marianne” seen at Magdalene Centre
Marianne was at the Magdalene Centre in Moore Street last Saturday evening. She looked happy in a way that people smile when in pain. Her face wasn’t bruised or ripped. She stayed not long at all.
17 December 2015 Note added after her death on 2 January 2016: “Marianne” is Emma Kate Hines, sadly gone.
Trock’s career in poison stalls
Trock finished his Certificate 3 course in horticulture, but won’t progress towards becoming a poison professional. He’d wanted to drive poison trucks up and down the highway north of Alice Springs, poisoning the vegetation as he went.
But he’s concluded it will take too much work to become a licensed poisoner. Too many long names of poisons to remember. Too long an apprenticeship. He’s a loafer; he admits it. It’s hereditary.
He said that poisons are dangerous especially nerve poisons used to kill rats and mice.
17 December 2015
Hutt Street Centre Barbecue Cancelled
Due to heat, the meal will be held elsewhere and only those signed up for the Aged Care Living program are welcome. That’s what Liz from Hutt Street Centre told a man who phoned her.
16 December 2015
Trock’s view on life
Trock said he’d forgive The Ghost Who Walks for his failings if he’d admit just one thing: that he’s been a loafer all his life.
Trock readily admitted he was a loafer and would never work full-time. He said his father was a loafer and recommended to Trock that he also become a loafer.
Trock doesn’t need to work full-time because he supplements his income with shoplifting. He said that as a loafer he often spends the day in bed looking up at the ceiling.
He said he’d also forgive The Ghost for his actions while working for him. They were at a job cutting heavy branches from a tree and The Ghost told their employer that his boss, Trock, didn’t have a clue what he was doing. Then, instead of working, The Ghost walked up and down the street talking rubbish on his phone.
“He doesn’t have a work ethic; he’s a loafer,” Trock concluded to us at the Magdalene Centre. He was in a good mood.
13 December 2015
Life Christian Centre BBQ
An excellent breakfast, but a failure in publicising the event, hence the low turnout.
They served fried bacon, eggs, and baked beans on paper plates with new plastic cutlery, glazed doughnuts, coffee and tea, apple and orange juice. The hairdresser was there and the mood was excellent. A small man with white hair and beard, and wearing a leather hat arrived with his Coles shopping trolley loaded high with blankets and person effects. He had tattoos on his arms.
The professional hairdresser gave haircuts from a park bench with her clippers powered by a huge generator.
The noisy machine had plenty of power cable so should have been placed further from the serving counter and the hairdresser. The two trucks from Endeavour Quality Homes were there.
Two guests arrived after the Life Christian Centre hosts had partly packed up. This didn’t stop them from re-starting the barbecue, pulling out the bacon and eggs and opening a new can of beans. “They’re obliging,” New Zealander John noted.
One visitor with a blind and senile dog on a leash passed through the group. She carefully scanned the event then even more carefully kept the conversation on her dog. She was the wife of an employee of the Hutt Street Centre.
The low number of guests was disappointing because of the lack of publicity for the pop-up event. Even Fred’s Van guests didn’t know about it despite the Life Christian Centre running the van the previous evening. The Vitamin Derelict was particularly unhappy about missing the event. The key to serving the underclass crowd is to be there on the same day each week.
They also could have had a gazebo for the hairdresser, and chairs for some of the more arthritic guests. It’s a sad fact, but most people who go to homeless soup kitchens are old.
16 December 2015
Armageddon Barbecue Over forty people were at Hurtle Square for the Christadelphian Armageddon Barbecue. There were plenty of fried eggs and sausages, but the onions ran out. A cook said they’d fried 1kg, but demand was higher than usual. That was no excuse. Onions are cheap. There were plenty of eggs and sausages. I ended up having a mustard sandwich. What a harsh assault on my sense of entitlement.
The staff were friendly and communicative. Lee showed us a video of a re-usable rocket that can take people for a four-minute ride in space for $100,000. I said that numerous can collectors could go into space. Lee said that no one would believe them if they disappeared for two weeks then returned to the Armageddon Barbecue saying they’d been in space. He said people would accuse them of being on drugs.
“Come on, come on,” Grinder complained when he couldn’t open the silver wrapped pieces of truffle and cake staff had given him. The low value of the contents was another cruel insult to my sense of entitlement.
But overall, these End of the World people offer a pleasant short barbecue each Saturday at 8:30am in Hurtle Square. The fourth barbecue of each month is held in front of the Christadelphian Church in Halifax Street, Adelaide.
16 December 2015
Free Barbecue in Semaphore
A private family is providing a free barbecue in the driveway between the St Bede’s Church and hall on Thursday 24 December from 12:00noon to 3:00pm.
Everyone is welcome wherever you come from or however rich or poor you are.
15 December 2015
St Vincent de Paul Homeless Shelter
A man and his girlfriend living in nearby apartments used to laugh at the losers going into the Homeless Shelter.
But now, the girlfriend is gone, the unit is gone, and the man lives in the Homeless Shelter.
15 December 2015
Ruf Us on the steps of Hutt Street Centre
Nicole arrived first. There was confusion. New Zealander John thought her crowd was running the BBQ over on South Terrace. There was a shadow of black strain under her eyes and her facial muscles strained into a grimace.
She unloaded boxes of processed foods plus some nice apricots and zucchini.
Brian the ex-Miner drove up in the Ruf Us transit van. Then AJ arrived with hot food she’d cooked at home: spaghetti bolognaise in aluminium containers and meat pies wrapped in foil. The pies comprised mainly of prime organic beef of a quality that could hardly be obtained anywhere at any price.
Other food included fruit drinks, bottled water, cucumbers (slightly dodgy), rice crackers, coffee and tea plus many small containers of supermarket biscuits and fried rice. There was more food than the guests could take with them.
While distributing the food, Nicole’s face lost its bleak strain and she flowed into the emotionally generous woman she is.
Trent and his group weren’t there nor was “Marianne”.
Ruf Us returns to the footpath in front of the Hutt Street Centre next Saturday at 9:30am and then on Sunday 20 December at 2:00pm have a clothing and drinks distribution session in South Terrace, opposite the Adelaide Theosophical Society. It’s called “Anything Free for Anyone in Need”.
15 December 2015
Airport Barrie, 71, worked as a social worker decades ago in Sydney. Two strange cases he remembered were a woman who phoned saying she was bleeding and dying. When Airport Barrie’s team arrived he discovered she’d inserted rags and squirted tomato sauce up her vagina. When Barrie told her it wasn’t blood, but tomato sauce she stopped screaming, stood up and walked away.
The second strange instance was a naked man phoning from a telephone box. Barrie found him bitten all over his body.
He’d picked up a woman at Kings Cross, but she’d then drugged him. When he awoke he was tied to a bed. His ears, penis and much of his body were badly bitten. She did other nasty things to him while he was awake. The man said he now hated women.
Airport Barrie appears to live in his car and is surprisingly good natured considering his age and lifestyle.
15 December 2015
Magdalene Centre Saturday evening
It was bad. The soup was good. Thin rice noodles with peas and carrots. Refreshing and different. Margo didn’t like it. The meal was bad: spaghetti bolognaise and nothing else. It smelled odd. Even the meat eaters questioned the odour. I asked for anything without met. Bad luck. There wasn’t anything else. Alex the Italian woman whom everyone likes was apologetic. There was white bread and margarine. That was good. There was plenty of apple crumble with ice-cream. I wanted more crumble and less apple, but it was still good.
The staff were polite and respectful: they usually are. And no Muzak or spy cameras so we felt comfortable sitting in the laneway and talking. Lance Armstrong said that on a good day he nets $10 an hour driving taxis and he had a smash last week: “not major and not minor”. It will cost him $1000 from his $10 an hour earnings.
The Saracen’s Head hotel grease trap must have been cleaned because the laneway smelt fresh.
The drug dealer from last week wasn’t there. She had sores on her arms and her skin was sallow, but she had the air of someone who controlled situations.
15 December 2015
A client of UnitingCare Wesley Port Adelaide told of $3000 spent on art classes for clients of the Chat and Chew free meal. This person said the money could have been spent better.
Another person surmised the classes were a rort designed by employees of UnitingCare to transfer money to their friends, the classes being little more than a vehicle to do this.
14 December 2015
Charles Dickens relived
According to The Man Formerly from Kilburn, residents at the St Vincent de Paul Crisis Shelter are required by management to each morning register their intent to have the evening meal. If they don’t, they don’t get a meal. If they do, and don’t turn up, then they lose the next days’ meal.
While this seems an efficiency drive, the ex-restaurant where the meal is served lies empty every night and every day except for the thirty minute meal consumption plus two hours for preparation and cleanup. Management pays the rent and upkeep of the nearly always empty building while running their annual homelessness fundraising drive called the “CEO Sleep Out”. Yet for the poorest of the poor, St Vincent de Paul runs a tight ship.
14 December 2015
From the Contact Page
"‘Chat and Scram’ Christmas Party"
“Tea was bodgey at Uniting Care Wesley. Jesus, that was garbage. They claim they have no money. Everyone was waiting for something to happen that didn't. It was nothing more than the average fortnight at chat and scat.”
14 December 2015
Sky City Adelaide Casino
Terry the Gambler is back at the Adelaide Casino shredding whatever friendships he has with anyone. He’s threatened to visit Danielle’s workplace and pull out her hair. He said she walked up to him at the Roulette table and told him he stinks.
Meanwhile, Gay Barry is pissed off that The Man Formerly from Kilburn told others that after eating at The Buffet smorgasbord at the Casino, he’d been so sick that he vomited on the floor and walls. Gay Barry said this was untrue; he’d only felt a little too full, a little bilious.
13 December 2015
Marianne (not her real name)
Marianne, black and blue, was taken away by the boys in blue at WestCare. She’d earlier been escorted from the Sturt Street community centre by police. She wasn’t arrested at WestCare, but according to an observer, probably taken to Glenside Hospital. She was described as “black and blue” from punching and slapping herself.
13 December 2015 Note added after her death on 2 January 2016: “Marianne” is Emma Kate Hines, sadly gone.
Pilgrim Free Coffee Lounge
I was apprehensive in the lounge when the only appropriate seat was across from Dr X, whom I hadn’t seen for seven years.
He’d been a strong ally of one of my rare enemies. I thought we might have a nasty shouting match, but instead stared at me with wide open blue eyes for thirty-five minutes while he recounted the highlights of his recent years and his views on life.
Instead of the penny dropping, and him recognising me, he mentioned something about Alzheimer’s then got up and walked out.
Another guest wanted two-dollars from me while his friend later gave me two religious booklets.
Near the coffee counter, two plaques listed the social etiquette recommended when talking to transgender people. The instructions were not to talk about it unless the other person introduced the subject.
Six swags were lined up outside the windows. Three men were flattening ten-cent deposit bottles in a corner of the garden. A bundle of blankets lay alongside the eastern wall of the church. A sign on the pillar warned about using the appropriate public toilets.
Observing the juxtaposition of the poverty and desperation of the homeless crowd, and the stability and relative affluence of the parishioners, and their kindness, was like watching a movie after eating a bad batch of Blue Meany mushrooms.
Pilgrim Church Free Coffee Lounge 12 Flinders Street, Adelaide Free coffee and biscuits at back of the church 10:00am to 2:00pm Monday to Friday Relatively safe sleeping area underneath back verandah 13 December 2015
The mechanics of racist and sexist
HousingSA’s strategic plan favours Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women and children escaping domestic violence, youth, adults and families who are homeless or at risk.
Most people living outside in Adelaide are elderly white men. Most people living outside in country areas are Aboriginal men.
HousingSA (Housing Trust) gives these two groups the lowest priority for housing. Charity advertisements on television portray women and children living in cars because using them brings in more donations. But the truth is that most people living outside are white and Aboriginal men.
13 December 2015
Chat and Chew Christmas Party
The days of smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee while sitting at the picnic tables on the rose bush surrounded back lawn are long gone.
Natural grass was too dangerous for children who use the area during the week. It has been replaced by plastic green grass that needs vacuuming rather than cutting. Rose bushes have thorns so they were pruned back and fenced off. The front bushes were emasculated to create a surveillance zone to guard against lurking child molesters. The dining room was downsized to add more space for another salaried counsellor.
The kitchen is out-of-bounds to guests who might carry infectious diseases, or might fall against the corner of the dishwasher. Some guests wouldn’t know the cook by sight.
No one drinks coffee outside. A guest could drop a cup and burn someone’s feet. The same reason applies for meals not being served outside. For these reasons, and the downsizing of the dining room, there isn’t quite enough room inside.
Guests adapt to this by marching inside, procure their chairs then don’t budge for the rest of the evening. This is because there is hardly room enough for everyone due to the stoppage of serving meals outside.
The actual meal is served earlier than previously to better suit the working hours of the employees.
Nevertheless, last Wednesday’s Christmas meal was enjoyed by most guests. Wayne played the ukulele accompanied by Collette and Sharon singing Christmas Carols.
An army veteran talked about the loud noises that shocked him doubly because no one else could hear them. And he has psoriasis. Elaine arrived with her new boyfriend. Her health is reducing by the month, but she retains her alert mind and natural personality. John brought his new crab net that he’s taking to Port Pirie. He was with his girlfriend. Veteran guests included Olec, Sandra, Betsy, Vince the Elder, Bernie, Lance, Phil Jones, and JJ, a retired and popular employee.
The inspiration of the evening was Vince the Younger who works in the kitchen. He was a university mathematics student before being overcome by illness. Since going onto Disability Support Payments, he’s worked full time for token wages in sheltered workshops and other places without a word of complaint. He gives Chat and Chew a touch of class with his chef’s uniform of white jacket and checkered trousers.
And that’s the problem: chat and chew doesn’t have enough volunteers like Vince. Due to the increasing burden of health and safety checks, becoming a volunteer has become difficult both for those wanting to serve, and for the organisation that legally must provide training and insurance.
But despite the above, the severely disabled humans at Chat and Chew worked their way around the situation and the mood of the evening was one of enjoyment. And another good thing: guests at Chat and Chew aren’t treated like criminals by surveilling them with spy cameras. But I wish they’d change the silly name.
Chat’n’Chew Back of 58 Dale Street, Port Adelaide Entrance from the carpark that faces Kmart Every second Wednesday at 4:30pm. Next meal early Feburary 2016. 13 December 2015
Hutt Street Centre
“They have 50,000 social workers sitting on their asses, kids, what do they know about us? Ian Cox pulls in a hundred grand a year and his wife owns an accountancy business. What does he know about us?”
An elderly man, well known in the homeless scene, speaking about the locked Hutt Street Centre while standing on its steps on a Saturday morning waiting for the Ruf Us food service.
12 December 2015
Elizabeth Fred’s Van returns
The renovations have been completed at the St Vincent de Paul joint at 8 Langford Drive, Elizabeth (near the Elizabeth railway station). They’ve built a small restaurant with nice tables. No doubt the clean and pleasant surroundings will inspire the cooks to excel even on their previous culinary triumphs.
The free Fred’s Van meal at Elizabeth is every Wednesday at 6:00pm. There will be a short holiday break from just before Christmas until Wednesday 6 January.
The next Fred's Van meal at Elizabeth is Wednesday 16 December at 6:00pm.
Fred’s Van Elizabeth In the St Vincent de Paul building 8 Langford Drive, Elizabeth (near the Elizabeth railway station) 12 December 2015
It was too rushed.
Margot powered through the tables to park her electric scooter at the door of the free food room. She blocked people from collecting soup from the serving counter. Others joined Margot’s queue. The door was opened too early. Those wanting to enjoy a relaxed social meal were thus pressured to join the queue because those at the end usually miss out.
Management also wanted things to move more quickly so everyone would be in the church for the 7:00pm service for people who find Christmas sad and frightening.
The soup was excellent and most of it was vegetarian. I hope the meat eaters don’t change their tastes. The coffee mugs have disappeared and been replaced with the previously used small tea cups. A diner told me that Margot broke the front door of the Glenelg Gloria Jean’s coffee shop.
Outside, the steps of the church were empty. Usually, a dozen people hang around prior to going to Hungry Jacks or Gloria Jean’s, but this evening they were in the church. This was the sustenance many were seeking.
Mary’s Kitchen St Andrew’s Church at the Sea Jetty Road, Glenelg Tuesdays at 6:00pm. Next Tuesday, 15 December is the Christmas Party open to everyone. Then Mary’s Kitchen is closed until mid-February due to renovations on the kitchen. 12 December 2015
St Bede’s Drop-in-Centre
The hairdresser was late on Tuesday because she’d been occupied with rounding up her elderly neighbours’ greyhounds that had fled during the previous nights thunder and lightning. She lured them back with “goodies”.
She brought her French poodle dog that sat quietly in a bag. Trish is filling in for her brother, Steve Davids, who is still recovering from his glaucoma surgery. The cut my hair very well, but sprayed it with “girlie spray”.
In the dining room, a man told Mrs Moonboots that she wanted Romello kicked out of the joint. Mrs Moonboots told him that St Bede’s is for everyone and that they wouldn't kick Romello out for harsh gestures as that was how he communicated, not being able to speak or hear.
Mr Moonboots needs more surgery. The previous procedure fixed the bottom of his foot, but now the top part is swelling up. While awaiting the operation he’s going up north to clean up a hall for the funeral of a man burnt in the recent fires. He may also drive the water tanker truck during the clean-up operation.
Vince the Elder is recovering from a savage bout of skin cancer surgery. He’s been pale in the face, but enduring his ordeal without complaint.
A well liked man dropped his breakfast at the front counter. The kitchen staff cleaned up the mess and gave him another plate without a word of censure. That’s quality staffing that money can’t buy.
St Bede’s Drop-in-Centre 200 Military Road, Semaphore 8:30 to 10:30am Tuesdays and Wednesdays Open throughout Christmas and New Year period. Christmas Party on Tuesday, 15 December only open for regular guests.
12 December 2015
(above) A man used to visit his grandmother in 1989 when this group of two-floor HousingSA units was built on Torrens Road at Woodville North, across from the Cheltenham Racecourse.
(above) They’re now boarded up to discourage squatters from living inside the buildings, and are being vandalised from the outside by non-squatters. They’ve been officially empty for two years, but are intermittently occupied by squatters. Corrupt Housing Trust executives find this arrangement preferable to legally renting the units to people desperate for housing.
(above) Similar groups of units as these are occupied next door and across the street. Those executives in the Housing Trust who decide to keep units like these empty should be charged with criminal negligence.
Is this reality?
Nicholas Mchawala of HousingSA wrote in the November 2015 issue of Parity Magazine that the new HousingSA Service Model connects people to their local community, and ensures consistent and local responses for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
In contrast, that incredible sleazebag, former Minister for Housing, Tony Piccolo, laughingly told me that HousingSA (Housing Trust) has a policy of not telling people where they are on the waiting list because it takes too much time. This is despite the fact that these details appear on the screen of the computer used by those working in the Housing Trust call centre. This is how callous these bureaucrats are.
My experience recently of living outside forms the view in my mind that Mr Nicholas Mchawala is living in the fantasy world of the well paid bureaucrat.
13 December 2015
An unconscious sexist and racist crusade
against homeless men?
Homelessness Australia’s CEO Glenda Stevens has been in the news today advocating that homeless services be transferred to victims of domestic violence, which means reduced funding for people actually living outside, the majority of whom are white and Aboriginal men.
11 December 2015
St Bede’s Drop-in-Centre 200 Military Road, Semaphore 10:30am to 1:30pm Tuesday 15 December 2015 Strictly by invitation.
Mary’s Kitchen St Andrew’s Church-at-the-Sea, Jetty Road, Glenelg 6:00pm Tuesday 15 December 2015 All welcome
Pilgrim Church Lounge 12 Flinders Street, Adelaide 12 noon to 1:30pm Wednesday 16 December 2015 Open to regular clients and friends. Held in the Pilgrim Church Hall next door.
WestCare Miller’s Lane (off 212 Wright Street) Adelaide 12 noon Wednesday 16 December 2015 All welcome
Hutt Street Centre Barbecue in Marshmallow Park, which is behind the public toilet on Unley Road in the South Parklands. About 12 noon Thursday 17 December 2015 All welcome
Jasmine Restaurant Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide 5:00pm Thursday 17 December 2015
Meals are usually served in Hindmarsh Square opposite the RAA, but the Christmas meal is usually served outside the Jasmine Restaurant across Grenfell Street in the northwest corner of Hindmarsh Square.
An interesting feature of this “soup kitchen” is the shocked discomfort and even jeering from Department of Communities and Social Inclusion bureaucrats and other city workers passing by.
All welcome if you’re from the homeless scene or a regular client.
Salvation Army Christmas Extravaganza 277 Pirie Street, Adelaide 5:00pm to midnight 19 December 2015
Pirie Street Riot, Salvation Army Brass Band, Forever Hopeful Choir, Carol Singing.
Hair and make-up touch-ups and optional free photo from the photo booth.
11 December 2015
WestCare toaster argument
WestCare strategic management committee finally rolled out their fancy conveyer toaster. It’s the type where you put the slices on the belt and emerge from the other side toasted.
A problem emerged this week when a man wasn’t using the device to the satisfaction of another client. She abused him then they began a screaming match during which she “menaced him with a butter knife”.
An observer thought the woman “mentally disturbed” and that she should have been banned, but an employee explained that WestCare existed for people who couldn’t go anywhere else.
11 December 2015
Man from Peterborough
The Man from Peterborough’s girlfriend jumped in a taxi, which took her to Adelaide. It cost $450 upfront.
The Man from Peterborough said she left when he “blew the shit out of her” for stopping the recording of a movie from the TV. The Man specialises in early video technology.
She was a nice woman and had previously been seen sitting very close to a huge Maori on a bus while she was stayed at the house of the 58-year-old Aboriginal.
The Man was fined $240 by police for not telling the motor registration department of his change of address. The Man says he always does this.
11 December 2015
Saturday evening at the Salvation Army
A street man said he never asks the Salvation Army for anything because of the way they treated him in the past. He added that Adelaide charities rarely provide tea in food parcels because it is seen as a luxury, as are supermarket gift cards for single men.
The Man Formerly Known as the Drug Addict wasn’t there, but during the week he apologised to The Ghost for his behaviour ten days previously while on a drug resembling “Ice”. I apologised to The Face for not backing him more resolutely against The Man, but he said he had not been afraid.
The meal was paella with chicken cooked in a huge wok in the courtyard. One man said it was “not too bad even though it was burnt on one side”.
The café and atrium were closed due to a concert so the evening proceeded from the Benson Room and courtyard. Jelena and others went to the concert, but generally it didn’t include us. Jelena kindly complemented my dress sense: black flannelette shirt on a 39 degree evening.
Caleb helped with the serving along with a group of young women who served coffee from 5:00pm. I often wonder what they think they are doing for us. Personally, being treated kindly and with respect by a healthy young woman who isn’t being paid to do so is a subtly powerful act of generosity. Getting a coffee also helps in a mundane sense.
The ping pong table couldn’t be set up because it was stored on the other side of the atrium, which was in use by the concert people. The substitute to exercise was endless trays of cream buns. “Oh, no,” said The Face as each tray was brought out.
About 9:30pm, two uniformed Army bosses walked into the Benson Room and asked inane questions to those at two tables. The smiling man got the “who the hell are you?” look from the Crony Gang. This is the same look I got in the 1980’s when asking street people about their lives?
Four or five drunks laughed and shouted in the courtyard, but no one appeared to be affected by drugs. The Benson Room calms the atmosphere while the front café verandah on Pirie Street stimulates guests to perform street theatre. 11 December 2015
The Can Collector known as The Ghost Who Walks has run up a $20,000 legal bill with a private lawyer in a dispute with the Unley Council over a few dead cars he keeps on his own property.
10 December 2015
WestCare’s continuing shower shame
WestCare strategic management is still discussing how to meet Adelaide City Council disability shower access standards. The issue is the lack of a shower chair for those who have difficulty standing up.
One thoughtful employee suggested he could bring a plastic chair from home. This idea was knocked on the head due to the risk of the chair collapsing or the water on the seat not draining away adequately.
They still haven’t come around to the strange idea of purchasing a specialist chair from a disability store.
10 December 2015
Trent Jefferis stabbed
Trent, aged about 24, was recently stabbed. It was the third time this year. Again, luckily, the injury isn’t life-threatening. Trent frequently lives in the South Parklands and was recently in hospital for a savage gash in his foot. He said someone put glass in his shoe.
Trent is a likeable fellow who experienced birthing problems that resulted in a lesser functioning of the frontal lobe part of his brain. This disability makes it difficult for him to make plans and enact decisions, or adapt his behaviour to the social environment.
He’s suffered multiple injuries and diseases as a result of his neurological condition, and from living outside with similarly displaced people.
His mother, AJ Jefferis, began her soup kitchen run for the purpose of caring for him. Solutions for his care in this society probably wouldn’t go much further than locking him up or drugging him into oblivion.
But the good aspect, at least, is that Trent lives his life as he finds it, and to some extent is free. But for his mother, she feels the agony of watching her son collect injury after injury with the knowledge that some of his friends have been murdered or otherwise died young. She suffers for her son. 10 December 2015
Vitamin Derelict pulls a swifty
The Vitamin Derelict pretended to be a vegetarian at the Magdalene Centre on Saturday evening because he wanted the cheese and spinach bake. He went back later for the meat dish.
The two soups were exquisite. An Aboriginal man liked the tang of the vegetable soup while another preferred the pumpkin.
The diners in the laneway fled the scene due to the stench of the grease trap from the Saracen’s Head hotel.
An old man said that Zulu wasn’t a priest, but had been in jail twice for bashing his wife. Zulu’s hands are thin and frail. 10 December 2015
Creepy Kenny doing the rounds
Kenny has been seen at various soup kitchens, establishing himself as a regular so he can attend each joint’s Christmas party.
10 December 2015
A man sleeps on the concrete floor of the front verandah of the Glenelg Community Centre on Colley Terrace. His blanket is imprinted with the Australian flag. He keeps a Labrador puppy and a bowl of water next to him.
Every two or three minutes, people stop and glare at him for five seconds. Men glance sideways while women stop and look at him with horror or contempt or disgust. What a psychic assault this man was endures.
Authorities regularly order him to leave, upon which he moves to another building verandah. A week or so later, he returns to the community centre.
Meanwhile, the Housing Trust (HousingSA) keep units empty in case they’re needed by people who already have housing, but might need to leave due to domestic violence.
9 December 2015
From the Contact Page
“… yes sometimes I am scared about what happens at the salvos. I enjoy talking to many of the people there but when things start to turn bad, all the leaders seem to scatter. I feel it’s one thing to turn the other cheek, and to say god will protect us but I’m sorry, at times I question my safety and that of others. I think that is why numbers seem to be falling and I wonder how much longer I can keep doing it myself. Many others feel the same.”
9 December 2015
(above) People sleep under this tree across the road from the St Vincent de Paul two floor, former Iliad restaurant, building in Whitmore Square, which CEO David Wark keeps empty every night of the year.
(above) The old Iliad restaurant occupied this double building at Whitmore Square, Adelaide before it was purchased by the St Vincent de Paul Society in about 2003. This multi-million dollar property remains empty for 21 and a half hours per day.
(above) The old Iliad restaurant building has been used for the past ten years as an evening meal room for the residents of the St Vincent de Paul Crisis Shelter located 100 metres north. The meal is served and eaten in thirty minutes with another two hours devoted to preparing the food and cleaning up. The rest of the time the building remains empty.
(above) This small front courtyard is barred and locked, and like the building, kept empty when seventy metres across the road people sleep under a fig tree whether it is raining or not. St Vincent de Paul CEO David Wark must be personally and legally compromised to maintain what appears a corrupt use of charitable assets.
Remembering Trident Stevenson
His brother was too emotional to say anything yesterday at Trident’s memorial service at “The Terraces” apartment house on South Terrace.
Spanish Peter remembers Trident at Hackney Lodge. The thug who tried to strangle elderly Peter warned Trident that he’d passed by his door three times so he’d better be careful.
Trident responded by walking by the thug’s door nine times, stomping his feet on the floor. Trident knew kick boxing. “I get the message,” the thug told Trident.
Trident was planning to do a TAFE community care course in February. Spanish Peter says he died from an overdose. What a waste.
8 December 2015
Michael’s Game Changer
Well dressed Michael L. is suing WestCare for over $10,000 after allegedly getting punched in the chin by Grinder. Mrs Judith Telstra ignited the flashpoint when she objected to being asked if she had an alternative use for a long Lebanese cucumber around which she had tightened her fingers.
WestCare Management banned the questioner for a day as punishment for the “inappropriate comment”. Later, Michael L. began “mouthing off” about the incident so Grinder allegedly gave him a “good one” on the chin.
Grinder demonstrated the “good one” on Saturday by swinging his fist past my face and slamming it into a solid wall. He moved closer until we were eyeball to eyeball then he announced he was suing Michael for slandering him in court.
Meanwhile, at WestCare certain people have experienced a change of attitude from Michael L. He has become a barometer for Mrs Telstra and has incorporated into his own personality the good woman’s loves and hates. He depends on her testimony in court.
WestCare dreads that a court victory for Michael might open the floodgates to others who have been attacked by its clients over the decades.
When brain-damaged Gary hit 80-year-old Bill from Austria on the head with a piece of timber, WestCare compensated the old man by reducing the price of his meals from $2.50 to $1.25.
Those days are over with Michael L leading the charge for higher compensation, backed by his new friend, Mrs Judith Telstra.
8 December 2015 Note: This report was compiled from four sources.
David Pope shown the door
The Salvation Army was set to supply whatever disabled man David Pope needed until by chance they discovered his modus operandi. With that knowledge they “pissed him off”.
He shouted abuse including the accusation that they wouldn’t put milk in his coffee.
8 December 2015
Blinkers still alive
Friends feared “Blinkers” might have been the man stabbed back of Carrington Street near the Box Factory.
But Blinkers, who has a knack for getting into trouble, was seen alive and well at the Adelaide Casino. He was with “The Twins” and Warren from Mary’s Kitchen.
8 December 2015
The other Cowboy
Cowboy, not the 76-year old Cowboy from the Salvation Army, got a recent $130,000 superannuation payout. He went off the dole; he went to the pokies; he lost the entire amount.
He recently re-applied for the dole and in the meantime borrowed $100 from The Ghost Who Walks who says Cowboy has lost everything twice previously.
The Ghost adds that Old Sam (Captain Costa Concordia) sold his two houses and also lost the proceeds on the gaming machines, which propelled the old man toward his second career: collecting food from charity and restaurant rubbish bins.
8 December 2015
Trident died last week. He was aged under 40. He was living at “The Terraces” homeless apartment building administered by Unity Housing.
Four weeks ago he fell over and broke his arm and thumb, but otherwise didn’t appear to be ill. He was an astute observer of the homeless scene and his death is a collective blow.
7 December 2015
Do the volunteers worry about their safety at the Salvation Army ‘Do Unto Others’ evenings on Wednesday and Saturdays?
Evening programs often resemble a ship without a captain.
Perhaps this is why the YWAM volunteers retreat to Card Player David’s table and spend the whole evening playing cards.
One person said that it isn’t simply the fear of wild people on weird synthetic drugs, but the emotional collapse when they discover they’re alone during a dispute.
Lauren from YWAM certainly appeared frightened when approached by The Man Formerly Known as the Drug Addict last Saturday.
7 December 2015
Sky City Adelaide Casino News
The section of the POP cafe that juts into Cent City is decorated with a dozen pseudo-North Vietnamese lamps. Their primary function is to produce an irregular sequence of flashing lights conducive to not quite throwing a person into an epileptic seizure, but enough to cause disorientation. This matches the swirling print on the carpets that present a series of curved lines without clear beginnings or endings.
The two high-backed chairs at the western end of the corridor that leads from the first floor elevators to Cent City have been downsized to one chair.
The new ShowTime game is a mere shadow of its former self. The nightly top prize is $20 worth of points with an average net value of $17 if a person sits in front of a pokies machine for half an hour.
This is compared with last winter’s Slots Tournament nightly winner who got $100 plus entry to the finals. The new Show Time doesn’t have a barrow draw or a grand final. And the “Pick a Box” style game is even more boring than the Slots Tournament ― and that took some beating.
Gregory, who won $13,500 from the Slots Tournament, stayed in the Barossa Room cafe on Friday evening while the silly game was held. He said there was nothing in it.
Meanwhile, Terry the Gambler returned after a week at home with a bad leg. With a raised voice, he cursed his elderly girlfriend for not visiting him and called her a “stupid c ** t who should have been put in Glenside.” He continued with this abuse for the next thirty minutes, but Adelaide Casino staff said nothing because he dumps nearly all his disability pension on the tables each fortnight. After his abuse session, he obtained $100 from her after having lost $500 of his own money in the previous hour.
The group that met in Cent City has moved to the Barossa Room where those with Diamond cards get unlimited barista coffee for themselves and their friends. For some people, the Casino is their life. 7 December 2015
Salvation Army Free Food Day
The queue by 9:00am reached down the laneway and around to the back door. Jo Aitch walked down the line welcoming those waiting in the sun and shade. Other workers brought plastic cups of green cordial. The FoodBank crowd, who had placed their emblazoned gazebo on the footpath, brought around sausages, onions and sauce on bread.
Mrs Judith Telstra was amongst the first inside after arriving at 6:30am, but there wasn’t the usual frenzy when the front doors opened.
Amongst the 300 hundred people, few were from the Saturday and Wednesday DUO regulars.
A Syrian man in front of me couldn’t speak English so I introduced him to others who responded with blank stares. He collected from the tables while his wife worked the queue further ahead.
Items offered included Christmas decorations, huge amounts of breakfast cereals slightly past the Use-By date, high and low quality muesli bars, Jamie Oliver risotto rice, long grain rice, Cruskits, huge amounts of potato chips, Paul Newman’s Own salad dressing, Goulburn Valley canned fruit, lemon soft drink with a congealed material suspiciously present at the bottom of the bottles, peach flavoured mineral water, Pepsi Next, Mother Earth wheaty slices, Lacta-soy, excellent bread and buns, red and orange cherry tomatoes, carrots, excellent potatoes, rhubarb, slightly rotten kale, slightly rotten avocadoes, tiny grapefruit and macro bars.
Also tea bags and coffee capsules. Staff asked if we had coffee machines then discarded that silly question. It was obvious that welfare people would extract the coffee for use in a plunger or strainer.
Perhaps it was me or maybe the heat, but the morning lacked the chaotic excitement of previous months.
In the cafe, a Muslim African woman asked The Cousin to remove his bag from his chair so she could sit on it. He declined rudely so I found her a chair. Rather than feeling self-righteous, I wasn’t sure which of us had made the proper response.
New York Alex grimly, but politely produced orange smoothies from a box of juice-unfriendly oranges. His presence added an invisible sociological and cultural class to the morning.
Des and his wife served barista coffee from the cafe. Des works without pay on the mobile kitchen that serves volunteer CFS fire fighters.
The changeover of Market Day guests over the months showed that many don’t find it worthwhile.
While amounts were restricted to clients, pallets were held back for distribution elsewhere. Some clients questioned whether it was worth the expense and effort to turn up, particularly since much of the food was of a quality previously sent to rubbish tips. Yet the good aspect is that no one needs to sign up, register or submit. That’s respect. It’s open to anyone who turns up.
And, of course, the real issue with poverty is housing and alienation. Food shortages are the result of housing problems, and alienation when government and welfare agencies unnecessarily allocate housing in areas where people don’t have friends or relatives. It’s cruel and stupid.
Salvation Army Market Day 277 Pirie Street, Adelaide Free food and coffee 1st Friday each month (not in January) 9:00am doors open
7 December 2015
Inadequate SRF diet
He pays $740 a fortnight from his $1000 fortnightly Disability Support Pension for a shared room and three meals a day at Semaphore Hostel, a Supported Residential Facility (SRF) in Semaphore. Plus a percentage of his pension is raked off by the Public Trustee. He is left with $80 a week for everything else.
Obviously, the meals don’t meet his culinary standards because every day or two he walks to the Foodland supermarket at West Shores. He carries a spoon in his back pocket. Minutes later he can be seen behind a bus stop eating his can of Chum dog food.
6 December 2015
An older man using the disability shower at WestCare asked a paid employee if a plastic chair could be placed in the shower room as he has difficulty washing without it.
The answer was that it wasn’t a budgetary priority so there wouldn’t be a plastic chair. The older man asked if he could use a milk crate that was sitting on the ground nearby. The answer was, “No, you could fall off.”
With WestCare recently spending millions on a new building fifty metres from the disability shower, they still can’t spend fifty dollars on a plastic chair.
And the final response from the WestCare employee was to suggest the older man bring his own shower chair.
However, an employee in the Adelaide City Council said that it is mandatory for WestCare to provide a shower chair in the disability access shower. 6 December 2015
Drug user orders non-user from
Salvation Army building
last Saturday night
The Man Formerly Known as the Drug Addict addled his brain with some nasty drug last Saturday evening.
The drug made him paranoid; he didn’t like anyone looking at him while shouting at the top of his voice for everyone to stop staring at him, particularly “The Face”. He ran up to the older man and within a hand width’s distance between their faces accused him of staring at him and of being a “rock spider”. He knocked the water bottle from the hand of the old man.
When Captain Matt Reeve told The Man Formerly Known as the Drug Addict of being out of order, the addict ran into the church and shouted that everyone should stop staring at him.
Back in the coffee shop area he ordered “The Face” out of the building. He gave him five minutes. “The Face” felt no support from the staff or volunteers and left.
He didn’t like being touched, either. Sparkles has known him for nearly 30 years ― they’re street people ― but when she hugged him he shouted for her to stop then jumped away from the table where he was sitting. She left in a huff.
The drug affected man then threatened dire consequences to everyone near him, thumped a table until it bounced across the verandah, smashed a glass on the footpath then went to the CheckMates strip club and berated that joint’s dangerous looking drunk customers.
He returned and spoke to Lauren, the YWAM Christian missionary from Indonesia who was serving coffee. Her expression transformed from amused to serious to terrified as the symmetry of her face became a twisted Picasso cubist caricature of her normal self.
The other YWAM volunteers did nothing except play cards with Card Player David. Two of them jokingly counted the minutes until they could leave. They should have stayed home.
The Man Formerly Known as the Drug Addict effectively cleared the front of the building by the time he left at 11:00pm. Everyone except an ex-prisoner, the Street Fighting Woman and me had enough sense to get away from the psychically dangerous ‘Ice’ addict. 5 December 2015
Would the real shower cleaner
please stand up?
The Hutt Street Centre has over two hundred employees and volunteers, according to a report about a visit last year to homeless joints in the United States by Manager Ian Cox.
Mr Cox was on a fact finding tour to enable him to make The Hutt Street Centre even better. 5 December 201
Servants take control of
Uniting Care Wesley Port Adelaide
It what seems a staff takeover, the UnitingCare Wesley Family Centre on Dale Street at Port Adelaide has reduced its opening hours from 9:00am to 1:30pm Monday to Friday. It previously was open until 4:30pm except for Wednesday when it closed at 12:00pm.
One regular client for the past decade noticed that while the shutters go down after lunch, staff continue to sit in their offices. They apparently find their jobs far more pleasant in the absence of clients. 5 December 2015
Pet pig attacks welfare worker
Laura from the COS We Care food van was unwell recently after being attacked by her pet pig.
The COS food van arrives in the Parklands near the corner of South Terrace and Hutt Street every Sunday at 7:30am, to the anger the Hutt Street Centre. 5 December 2015
Free food Market Day
at Salvation Army tomorrow
The free food morning begins at 9:00am tomorrow, Friday 4 December at the Salvation Army at 277 Pirie Street, Adelaide. Free processed food past the Use-By date, soft drinks and fruit juices, good bread and buns, and excellent and not so excellent fruit and vegetables.
Last year they gave away Christmas decorations and presents. These are generally for people with families.
Barista coffee and cake offered from the cafe from 9:00 to 11:30am, approximately.
Bring your own bags.
Watching the Arabs and other people collecting the free items, the volunteers behind the tables, and then those cleaning up afterwards can be a sobering experience. It’s like a refugee camp and also a personal challenge for each person: greed versus need.
The queue forms at 6:30am and it is best to arrive by 8:45am.
3 December 2015
Keep that Bunting woman away from...
A guest at last week’s Mary’s Kitchen Tuesday evening meal told me he’s bringing his girlfriend to the Christmas party. He said she’s not use to mixing with the kind of people that go to these sort of places and that I should, “Keep that Bunting woman away from ****.”
Like others, he believes “that Bunting woman” was an active participant with John Bunting, the leader of the “Bodies in the Barrels” gang that murdered child molesters and others.
Mary’s Kitchen Christmas Party St Andrew’s Church-at-the-Sea Jetty Road, Glenelg 6:00pm Tuesday 15 December 2015
3 December 2015
St Bede’s Drop-in-Centre
A man was told to get out last week. He returned this week. A volunteer told him to leave. He left. No one was unhappy about that.
Romello was bludging tobacco this week. His usual victim, whom he gets to empty his pockets, wasn’t there. There is tolerance for Romello at St Bede’s because he can’t talk or hear. Amongst the people who live with him at Semaphore Hostel, there is little respect, to put it mildly. They despise those who rob from their own group.
The popular Mr Moonboot returns to hospital for more surgery on his foot. Post operative care should involve chaining the ever-active Moonboot to a bed. He recently provided St Bede’s with two laptops with games, which are popular for people with social anxiety.
Another well liked man had heart problems last fortnight. He was taken away by ambulance. They revived him. He was unhappy about coming back.
The Christmas party is at 10:30am on Tuesday 15 December. Attendance is by invitation, which can be obtained by going to St Bede’s next week on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 8:30 - 10:30am. However, this only applies to guests who have been there before.
There was talk of not serving bacon for breakfast due to carcinogens used in the smoking process. The idea had little support. The guests like the bacon. What disgusted them was the ever increasing cost of tobacco, and politician Bill Shorten saying he wanted the price of smokes to double over the next five years.
3 December 2015
Sobering Up Centre
This joint has stopped its compassionate policy. Previously, they let people stay there who had nowhere else to go. Now, they insist applicants are partially drunk, and require applicants to blow into their breathalyser.
If you haven’t been drinking at the required level, they’ll keep the bed empty; or ten beds, whether it’s raining or fine weather.
3 December 2015
After an hour of cutting hair, the Hutt Street Centre volunteer hairdresser becomes nervous. She is afraid of getting a parking ticket.
3 December 2015
According to a homeless man, Ian Hitch-Cox was seen some time ago walking along the footpath while pressing his electronic key. He didn’t know which of the cars parked on Hutt Street were for use by Hutt Street Centre employees.
3 December 2015
(above from left) John in the van, Ann and Laura of 'COS We Care' collect donated food during the week then distribute it free on Sunday mornings at 7:30am to homeless and other people in South Terrace, Adelaide
(above) The 'COS We Care' voluntary food service to homeless people stopped their operation last week when the Hutt Street Centre objected to the distribution of free food to the homeless near its building. A complaint to the Adelaide City Council brought the threat of heavy fines. While awaiting the outcome of discussions with the Council, Ann of 'COS We Care' turned the ripe cherries into jam, which were distributed today after the Council concluded that no vender permit was required for people giving away food.
Today’s media reports about the North Adelaide hostel for homeless soldiers were not completely correct.
Ben Challinor from the live-in program said it’s “not a program to put a roof over their head,” but a therapy program to help homeless ex-service people “get back on their feet.” Three meals a day are supplied.
As to New Zealand citizens and war veterans who can’t get the dole and are living in the South Parklands, Ben said he would investigate whether they could join the program. He thought it should be available to them.
The program is designed for Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor service personnel, and based out of the Lutheran Church in North Adelaide, which can be contacted on (08) 8267 7400.
3 December 2015
Who runs the COS We Care food van?
Ann, her husband John, and Laura collect donated food from small shops in the suburbs north of Elizabeth. Their main day is Saturday when they spend 12 hours collecting, re-packaging and refrigerating the donated food. They also collect food during the week from market gardeners, and fruit and vegetable shops. From chemists they get donated women’s hygiene products.
They receive corporate donations, but donations come mostly from “little people”: shop owners and individuals. Some transportation costs are paid from their own money.
Laura’s previous career included driving oversize semi-trailer vehicles in the outback. Ann and John previously operated a transport company and understand logistics. This gave them valuable contacts with transport companies who now donate to the Cos We Care free food service.
2 December 2015
Jason and Michael
Jason Luther Curtis’ next appearance in the Adelaide Magistrates Court is 29 January 2016. Jason was charged earlier this year with murdering Rose-Marie Sheehy. Her decomposing body was found in a storage room connected to the underground carpark of BusinessSA in Greenhill Road.
Michael Johnson’s case has been suppressed. Michael was charged earlier this year with the death of Deborah Balbi in 2012.
Michael was a respected volunteer at the Salvation Army at 277 Pirie Street, Adelaide. Jason was a homeless guest who often slept on the front and back verandahs at the same address.
2 December 2015
Some people living in the Parklands told a welfare worker that Rose-Marie Sheehy had been living in their encampment until the Adelaide City Council told them to leave.
Rose moved across Greenhill Road to the BusinessSA underground carpark where her body was later discovered.
2 December 2015
Where does homeless
The middle-aged man with whitish hair who ran the storage room at Byron Place Community Centre knew that therapeutic interactions with clients began with each person as they entered the front door, not at special sessions with paid therapists.
Some clients said he was the “spirit of Byron Place”. They felt good when they deposited or picked up their bags, as if they were helping him by being customers of the storage room.
Whoever in Uniting Communities destroyed Byron Place Community Centre has a burden on their conscience waiting to arise like Scrooge’s Ghost.
2 December 2015
Hutt Street Centre hubris
Why does The Hutt Street Centre restrict usage of its showers in the afternoons when these are services needed by its most desperate and disadvantage clients?
Yet resources are increasingly being directed to social and therapy activities for people who live in reasonable housing and aren’t so desperate?
And did the financial committee members question the extra cost for those faulty timers connected to the men’s showers, which were installed as a direct result of the reduced access hours?
Perhaps Ian Hitch-Cox and the committee that runs The Hutt Street Centre should adjust their priorities so that resources are directed most to those who live outside.
2 December 2015
“After my husband died my son took everything for the next two years, my pension, everything. My daughter helped me with money.
“One night he phoned ― he lives in Woodville ― he asked, ‘Do you still love me?’ I said I love you, but I hate the things you do. He said he’d lost his job at the Queen Elizabeth ― it was a good job ― and I said, what did you do”
“He said he couldn’t tell me so I said you’d better tell me. He said he didn’t remember doing it.”
Conversation between two elderly women at a soup kitchen. 2 December 2015
Sleeping in my car next
to the homeless car campers
It’s bad enough to arrive late at a camping ground late at night and annoy sleepers with the banging of car doors. It’s even worse to do so at a homeless camp.
This is because the homeless campers are hyper-vigilant for unusual sounds, and the simple act of walking by them while they’re asleep can keep them awake for an hour.
That was my first mistake: arriving at the South Terrace homeless camp at midnight. My second mistake was not having prepared my bedding so as to be able to quietly slip into bed.
The good part, for me at least, was that the police didn’t order me from my car in the middle of the night. One camper said they had done this to him every two days for quite some time. “Sir, please get out of your car.”
The bad part is that I couldn’t sleep. My mind was troubled after spending one hour listening to the Ice-affected Man Formerly Known as the Drug Addict, who had raved and threatened dire consequences to a number of people. And I felt emotionally disgusted for not standing up for “The Face,” who is a quiet and inoffensive old man.
Sleeping in my car also brought back bad memories of those years living outside on the mudflats near the submarine factory.
The next day, I felt jaded; I made mistakes not usually made and couldn’t be bothered doing anything even after an afternoon sleep.
This is why people living outside prevaricate when urged by friends to make positive decisions in their life. Even through their exhaustion, the person living outside instinctively knows that he or she should “sleep on it” before making major life decisions.
The problem is that a person shattered from living outside and without proper sleep can’t “sleep on it”.
1 December 2015
They served chicken stew, boiled peas, mashed potatoes. Salt was supplied, but no pepper. Dessert was a beautiful bowl of chopped fresh fruit with strawberries that actually tastes like strawberries and stopped with ice-cream.
I can’t remember the type of soup, but rejected it for fear of the neuro-toxin, MSG.
Zulu was drunk. The man who drives off in abandoned cars left at airports laughed at him mercilessly, but not cruelly. Zulu remained good natured under the “car liberator’s” mocking jibes, which is quite a feat when drunk.
Margo told Lance Armstrong that Zulu was a trained priest, spoke a few languages and possibly had seen his family slaughtered in Africa.
There are people born to be in the derelict and homeless scene, but others should make their escape as soon as possible.
1 December 2015
St Bede’s Drop-in-Centre
Yet again, Romello forced Tony to empty his pockets then touched his legs to see if there were any coins not removed that he could take.
Outside, in the smoking area, nearly everyone was desperate for tobacco.
Anna is working in the kitchen as well as being a hostess. She is gaining confidence in her kitchen skills while she needs no confidence building in her excellent hostess skills. Her energy spreads across the room leaving everyone rejuvenated.
I had a migraine and can’t remember much that happened except coming in second in the table tennis tournament that had two players.
1 December 2015
Terry has fall
Terry the Gambler born in Naples fell down in his backyard at Stowe Court last week. A neighbour called an ambulance. Terry hasn’t been seen for the past ten days.
He’s suffered problems with maintaining balance for decades. In 2007, at the Jasmine Restaurant free meal in Hindmarsh Square, he fell off the curb in the darkness and hit the ground hard. He blamed those nearby for not warning him.
His other problem is anger. If something doesn’t go his way, his chronic moaning switches to a roar of threats and shoving. The source of this frustration could be extensive childhood surgery and long stays in hospitals, and functional illiteracy.
The isolation caused by his anger and threats increases with each new episode. Yet, in his own simple way, he is a likeable human being.
His girlfriend, 71, is seen regularly sitting by herself in the Casino or in Rundle Mall, appearing vague and dazed.
30 November 2015
Hutt Street Centre fails to stop
rival van giving away free food
to homeless people
A man talking to those sleeping in their vehicles told me at daybreak that the ‘COS We Care’ food van wouldn’t be arriving. He said Brenda McCulloch from The Hutt Street Centre had complained to the Council that the van didn’t have a food vending permit.
A person whom I had thought was a Hutt Street Centre spy was most vociferous about that institution trying to stop ‘COS We Care’ from distributing free food to the homeless.
Another person, an older man, had clear insight into how the Hutt Street Centre has developed from a benevolent institution into a bureaucratic business more concerned with maintaining staff salaries. He said that when Brenda was hired, she closed the place on Saturdays.
At 7:20am the cry arose, “They’re here,” as two refrigerated ‘COS We Care’ Transit vans turned right off Hutt Street onto South Terrace. When the vehicles were parked alongside each other, Laura, Ann and John unloaded tables, crates and a gas stove. One of the homeless men helped.
Just twelve people were awaiting the van, but within the next hour another 35 emerged from the parklands and back streets. These were good numbers considering that word on the street was that Brenda had stopped COS.
Laura fired up the gas stove to heat water, while coffee was initially made from hot water brought in thermos bottles. Plastic crates containing green and ripe tomatoes, onions, carrots, odd-sized cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes, celery and capsicum were laid on the grass. What was notable was the high quality.
The tables held rice crackers, cornflakes, 2-minute noodles, sweetened soy milk, dry pasta and spaghetti, tinned beans and spaghetti, prepared rolls (the contents of which I didn’t see), bread and hamburger buns, and a huge range of quite fresh iced buns in various colours.
Also, brand new T-shirts, of which the Vitamin Derelict put one on straight away. It fitted him perfectly.
There were also jars of cherry jam made by Ann from the 35 kilograms of donated cherries that weren’t distributed last week for fear of being fined by the Adelaide City Council.
Zulu arrived late, still recovering from being drunk the night before. John the New Zealander, with his bad heart, stayed in his van. When he finally emerged, his face was frighteningly pale.
John, Ann and Laura have been in the trucking business, hauling oversize loads in northwest Australia. They spent their own money this past week on fuel to collect and drive their food into Adelaide from the northern suburbs.
John said they initially gave Hutt Street Centre boxes of crackers and dozens of pairs of Bond’s socks, but after a screaming and abusive phone call from Brenda McCulloch they’re distributing everything direct to the streets.
John says they’re planning to distribute in a Salisbury park that each night is dotted with tents, which are packed up at daybreak.
Ian Hitch-Cox and his board of management must realise by now that The Hutt Street Centre has drifted off course. Two self-funded groups don’t begin distributing food on or near his front doorstep without good reason.
'COS We Care' (COS) Sunday mornings at 7:30am South Terrace (opposite the Theosophical Society) Adelaide 29 November 2015 Note: The Hutt Street Centre have been asked on two occasions for their side of this story. To date, no response has been received. 30 November 2015
Train Wreck’s Health
It was mistakenly stated in this column that Train Wreck went to the Royal Adelaide Hospital to have his defibrillator replaced. He actually had it removed completely; the doctor said he no longer needed it.
But the surgical wound swelled and changed colour so Train Wreck returned to the hospital. He said the RAH is like a third world hospital; they examined him in the hallway and told him not to worry about the swelling and discoloured skin.
Train Wreck has since had epileptic seizures, but it isn’t known if the two are connected.
He hopes in the near future to reclaim his phone from the pawn shop.
29 November 2015
The Old Man gets his own "Crisis Centre" room
The Old Man Formerly from Kilburn finally got his own room at the St Vincent de Paul Crisis Shelter.
He’d previously been offered a single room, but when he went to move in he discovered it stank badly and someone was sleeping in the bed.
This room is cleaner and is on an upper floor with a window that doesn’t quite shut properly.
He was glad to get out of the shared room. The blood on the ceiling had worried him. He thought it had to have come from a cut artery. There had been a knife fight, and so many guests are seriously disturbed, physically ill and depressed.
29 November 2015
Alex the Case Manager
The Old Man Formerly from Kilburn was told by Alex the Case Manager, based in The Hutt Street Centre, that he was next in line for a “studio apartment” at The Terraces homeless apartment building in South Terrace.
But the Old Man said someone told him that a friend had been offered a unit there just a few days ago. The Old Man now doubts whether Alex told him the truth.
However, the problem could be with the management of Unity Housing who manage The Terraces. My experience of them is that they corruptly administer their waiting list. I wouldn’t trust Unity’s Manager, Mathew Woodward, with half a bottle of Salvation Army ginger ale.
And to add insult to injury, they’re trying to change the name of “The Terraces” to Unity House.
29 November 2015
(above) It's fairly assumed that most people who live in the Parklands are drunks and drug addicts. The truth is more complex. Many campers devote their existence to survival and remain invisible from welfare authorities. The others, the self-destructive people; they often have accommodation to which they retreat after a binge.
(above) The exhausted puritanical campers find solace here and there, never remaining in one place for long. They're escaping their pasts and seeking new lives.
Homeless man's heart trouble worsening
The man who lives in his van staggered up to the Ruf Us Saturday breakfast on the footpath in front of the closed Hutt Street Centre building. His face was deathly pale. He’d spent the previous day in hospital because the surgical stent in his heart artery had clogged up and had restricted his blood flow. The doctor sent a camera up his arm and into his heart to take pictures. What treatment was given is not clear.
He’s applied for Disability Support Payments (DSP) three months previously, but Centrelink hasn't yet made a decision.
He's had three heart attacks, chemo and has osteo-arthritis in his spine. He can’t get the dole, despite partly growing up in Australia, because he’s classified as a New Zealand citizen. His British parents took him to New Zealand during his childhood. However, due to an agreement between governments, he can apply for DSP. He’s 62.
But he’s been four or five months without an income, living in his van, and looking worse for wear by the week.
He lives alone in his van parked on a city street. The registration runs out next week.
28 November 2015
Trent's Mum's free breakfast
Physiotherapist Aileen “AJ” Jefferis was under pressure this morning. She argued with her son, Trent. He finally went to hospital last week and had surgery on the ghastly wound to his foot. Someone put glass in one of his shoes. His mouth has become increasingly ulcerated. He appeared vulnerable, but a veteran of the homeless scene told me that Trent is street-wise.
AJ distributed hot coffee, homemade pies of pure meat, bottled water and containers of beef and vegetables. Her right hand man, the old ex-miner, was there with his dog.
Rumours abounded that Hutt Street homeless Centre management are trying to stop AJ from giving food to homeless people in front of their building ⎼ even though they’re closed all day Saturday. AJ’s Ruf Us group saw their lawyer during the week; the lawyer also gave advice to the COS van, who are under similar pressure from the same source.
An older man told me that over the decades he’d seen services and opening hours reduced at Hutt Street Centre in direction relationship to an increase of salaried staff.
Even so, the bad feelings toward Ian Cox and Brenda McCulloch surprised me.
Someone said that Ruf Us and COS are the “spirit of charity,” and that Hutt Street Centre was trying to stop them.
A 93-year-old not associated with Ruf Us handed out huge cans of sardines. He grabbed his teeth three times and said they were his natural teeth.
Ruf Us free breakfast to homeless people 9:00am every Saturday in front of the Hutt Street Centre 258 Hutt Street, Adelaide
28 November 2015
What a smozzle! Hurtle Square was empty. Big Ron and I wondered what was wrong until the 77-year-old man who sleeps in the parklands told us the barbecue was in front of the Christadelphian church.
By the time we got there, not much was left. There was a box of “Sucker Punch” soft drinks, but most of the sticky cans were either empty or leaking.
The church volunteers said that every fourth week they serve food outside the church and not in Hurtle Square. How are people supposed to know this? Few of the regular guests turned up so this isn’t widely known.
Armageddon Barbecue Saturdays 9:30am Hurtle Square except for every fourth week when it is in front of the Christadelphian Church. No barbecue on 26 December, 2015
28 November 2015
Snoring Crisis at the
St Vincent de Paul Crisis Shelter
A younger roommate left the Crisis Shelter because he couldn’t stand the snoring of The Old Man formerly from Kilburn.
A replacement guest was brought in. He was wheezing and coughing during the night until the third guest in the room began shouting, “You’re snoring, you’re snoring,” every five minutes.
It got so bad that the third man turned on the lights, which made The Old Man formerly from Kilburn shout, “Shut-up,” at the top of his voice.
Night staff intervened and the wheezing man was hauled out along with his mattress and put into the TV room. By morning, he was gone having been picked up by an ambulance.
27 November 2015
COS food van resuming its free food distribution
The Adelaide City Council told Ann from the COS food van that the Council doesn’t require a permit for the distribution of free food. However, they’re formulating new rules for what will become a required permit for such acts of goodwill. This is the result of a complaint from the Hutt Street Centre.
Ann says that another Council employee told her that Hutt Street’s cook, Brenda McCulloch, initially made the complaint against the COS food van. Brenda was unhappy that COS was giving away free food to homeless people.
Brenda also complained that Hutt Street Centre homeless patrons have become more fussy since the COS food van began distributing a superior Sunday breakfast.
The COS food van distributes food, toiletries and clothing every Sunday at 7:30am near the corner of Hutt Street and South Terrace, Adelaide.
27 November 2015
Saturday at the Magdalene Centre
The joint was packed. The Cousin, Father Christmas and I couldn’t get a seat inside or in the laneway so we had our soup in the side door foyer. The three styles of soup were the best ever, but the shutter door on the serving counter closed at 6:10pm, when they ran out.
One man stood up against three others accusing him of taking their table. He called them babies, but the Old Man Formerly from Kilburn missed the bravery and said his tone of voice sounded like a baby crying.
The Old Man and Ronald were escaping the St Vincent de Paul Crisis Shelter’s “man-made steakettes”.
Trock returned in a happy mood. He was recently in court for “threatening behaviour,” but has always been polite to me. He reminisced with the Vitamin Derelict and The Face about a bad employee he’d had in his tree chopping business. “One of them spent most of the time on his phone,” he said, referring to The Ghost Who Walks. “The Face” defended The Ghost.
Trock wants to set aside his conflict with The Ghost, who wants nothing to do with him. The problem is that he doesn’t feel comfortable being a derelict, and possibly doctors have put him on anti-depressants without explaining that their side effects may include violent outbursts.
The Ghost missed dessert because he has diabetes. The Cousin ate lots despite his diabetes. To Silly Billy’s disgust, the ancestry.com man checked his blood levels then ate the sugary dessert. Half the guests have diabetes.
The main meal included the best quality roast beef with gravy, glazed roast carrots, boiled peas, roast potatoes and creamed cauliflower. Desert was a top quality apple crumble with fruit and ice-cream. It was nearly the best ever at the Magdalene Centre. Consequently, there weren’t any takeaways due to demand. If the building was bigger, they’d have twice the number of guests. Everyone had such a good time that we were disappointed when it was time to leave.
Features of the Magdalene hall liked by guests are the soft lighting, no spy cameras, no Muzak, options to eat inside or in the laneway, natural colours on the walls and ceilings, windows that open for fresh air, good heating in winter and no electronic screens.
27 November 2015
(above) Once an exhausted person has faced the primal imperative of finding a place to camp, the mental imprint never leaves the mind. Decades later, after a life of prosperity, an old person may still map out the terrain noting each possible place to sleep.
(above) Battle of the bottles. Adelaide City Council workers guard their stash of ten-cent deposit bottles under lock and key at their Works building in the Parklands off Anzac Highway.
Wheelchair man taken away
David Pope was hauled away by police from a soup kitchen. He was swearing and acting ugly while guests were socialising and eating their meal. Five police loaded him and his wheelchair into the paddy van.
One of his legs is missing below the knee. He broke it in a car smash. A surgeon inserted metal rods while the bones were healing. David pulled them out and the wound became infected so that section of his leg was amputated.
David has a series of hard luck stories. He gets $850 per fortnight after his Housing Trust rent is paid, but hangs around the beachfront with a bag of women’s clothing. He claims to people he is homeless and without money. He pulls the items from his bag, one-by-one, crying as he does so, and collecting money. He’s always genuinely short of money due to the high cost of dope and Ice.
When the police took him away, the woman officer held a taser in her hand. David is quite strong and is facing a charge for throwing his artificial leg at an officer. Police are always wary of drug addicts transmitting infectious diseases.
He was taken away in the paddy van rather than being escorted onto the street because he failed to make his periodical report to the Port Adelaide police station.
26 November 2015
How welfare bureaucrats wound
They begin sentences with the words: “You need to...” 26 November 2015
Elizabeth East free BBQ
An ultra thin woman with indented front teeth shook her body and gazed outwardly with glassy eyes while holding her phone. A fat guy with perfectly white false teeth watched the room. Another old man without any teeth, and with his legs bandaged and wearing diabetic soft shoes gazed into space.
The seven or eight people in the room including myself all looked into space with enlarged and protruding eyes, while avoiding contact with others. Were they all as anxious and frightened as myself?
Eleanor and another woman rolled the barbecue down the invalid ramp in slow motion and then outside the front door as a bolt fell from the frame. Eleanor held the front door open with a plastic chair. “Bad chair,” she said when the wind blew it away. A 40-year-old woman with missing front teeth walked in. The ultra slim woman called her grandma and they hugged and laughed.
When the BBQ was going, the ultra-slim woman’s eyes regained their focus and she brought in fried onions and sausages wrapped in bread to the white false teeth man, who tried talking without success. She brought one to the diabetic who grunted appreciation. Soon the room of 15 people were talking and laughing. The white teeth man regained his speech and even the diabetic looked around the room while eating his sandwiches with the exaggerated movement of someone without teeth.
A woman laughed: she had good front teeth, but no molars. I noticed nearly everyone one else had false teeth, even those under 50.
Free BBQ 11:30am to 1:30pm Every Friday Salvation Army 39 Kinkaid Road, Elizabeth East 26 November 2015
St Vincent de Paul Crisis Shelter
When The Old Man Formerly from Kilburn wanted to retrieve his leather jacket from the safe room at the St Vincent de Paul Crisis Shelter, a woman employee directed him to a room where the relevant employee was. But when the Old Man went into the room, the man shouted, “Get Out.”
The woman employee also told the Old Man that he’d qualified for a single room. She told him to mop around his current bed and then move into the room. But when the Old Man walked into his new room, it smelt terrible and another person was sleeping on the bed. Later, it proved that another employee had allocated the room to another man because the Old Man was not then in the building. The Old Man said that if guests aren’t back by 11:00pm then they make you sleep outside all night. “Even though you paid for the night,” the Old Man said, his eyes opening wider. “It’s a jail routine,” he said with an amused laugh.
26 November 2015
Do Unto Others at the Salvation Army
The free food room has been discontinued indefinitely due to chronic abuse of volunteers by guests.
Gavin arrived in a Father Christmas outfit. He’s a natural clown and Theresa should let him live his rich fantasy life for the benefit of others.
The meal was roast lamb with jelly and ice-cream for desert.
The church singing went on until nearly 8:30pm. A woman who had earlier being laughing to herself lay on the floor in the corner. Leo the Lion sat in the other corner. They liked the singing. Barista coffee was served from 8:00 - 10:00pm by Jo Aitch because the expected coffee maker didn’t turn up. After that, it was back to instant coffee as Jo and Bob the Quiz Master hit the streets to tell the lonely and lost that someone cared.
Movies are no longer played in the free food room. The lounge room chairs are no longer brought out into the main hall. The glistening ever-present Spy Cameras watch and record our every move. Pressure to stay off the Pirie Street footpath to avoid giving CheckMates strip club a pretext to complain has constrained the cigarette smokers because being part of the action of the street is their joy. Meanwhile, the unsmiling drunks from CheckMates and other places rule the footpath.
Most Salvation Army guests hate and fear drugs and alcohol. One patron told me the atrium is inhabited by an unpleasant non-physical entity.
The Street Fighting Woman said she got food poisoning from a fast food joint, either Hungry Jacks or MacDonalds. A friend found her vomiting on Hindley Street. She wants compensation: $9.70 for the hamburger and drink.
****** said she was raped by ***** of Glenelg. She believes she may be pregnant and if so will probably kill herself. Newcomers were horrified by her tale; regular guests were disgusted that her fantasy included maligning yet another man who may be put in danger from her fantasies.
And each man wondered how soon will she’ll be placing his name in the blank space?
Another woman said she’d been on the streets for one month and was exhausted from anxiety. She was disappointed to discover that the sleeping room was closed for the season. I told her I’d show her a safe place in the Parklands, but she prefers to stick with a crowd, bad as they are.We played table tennis and there I observed that behind her tough personality she was physically fragile.
Grinder had stomach problems, having decided to stop using drugs. We also played table tennis.
While playing against James the Barista, Card Player David put in an impressive performance considering he’s double his ideal weight.
A volunteer told me his job was building and installing prison doors.
New York Alex was there, maybe having returned from Cuba. By 11:00pm, Marianne was walking about the building looking for a place to sleep. She went into the free food room and I don’t remember seeing her come out. Her fear of being alone, and her need to survive, makes her an astute manipulator.
Guest numbers were low, and by 10:00pm there were little more than the Crony Gang, Card Player David’s group and half a dozen others on the verandah.
Cockroach was his usual erudite self before descending into dirty talk, which was sad. No wonder he attracts contempt and violence. When James the Barista, Card Player David and I left at midnight, no one had begun mopping the floor. 25 November 2015 Note added after her death on 2 January 2016: “Marianne” is Emma Kate Hines, sadly gone.
Man’s liver ripped after prang with wombat
The Old Man Formerly from Kilburn said his new roommate at the St Vincent de Paul Crisis Shelter at Whitmore Square has a ripped liver. He was driving a car when he hit a wombat. The creature damaged the transmission, which stalled the motor, which took away his power steering and the car hit a tree upon which the man’s liver was ripped.
Doctors directed a glue gun at the end of a cable into his liver and tried to glue his liver back together. The surgery was semi-successful, leaving the man in considerable pain and not feeling well at all 25 November 2015
Credit Union Christmas Pageant
Piano Player Wayne wasn’t impressed with the Christmas Pageant. He said it was too general and had little to do with Christmas. He said that since this is the case, there should have been a homeless float. He said there could have been a bunch of Aboriginals fighting on the back of a truck. Or, he reasoned, a Mossad float, or the CIA.
25 November 2015
Hutt Street Centre not talking
The Hutt Street Centre was asked on Monday to comment on the claim that one of their paid employees phoned the Adelaide City Council complaining that Laura and Ann, who call themselves the COS food van, give away free food and clothing on South Terrace without a permit.
The Hutt Street Centre has been losing Sunday morning clients to the superior and volunteer COS food van and fear a reduction of funding due to the loss of clients.
An employee at The Hutt Street Centre, who gave her name only as “Joanne”, said she’d ask management if they wanted to respond. They haven’t taken the opportunity to deny the accusation.
Ann and Laura obtain donations of new clothing, end of day restaurant and cafe food, toiletries and hygiene products, and fresh fruit and vegetables on their own time and without pay.
Last week, the Adelaide City Council told Ann that if they gave away free food on Sunday they’d risk heavy fines. This Sunday the two women will be there with a permit to give away free food, or an exemption, or with the media.
Maybe the media could also knock on the doors of the Hutt Street Centre speak to them.
The COS food van arrives at the corner of Hutt Street and South Terrace at 7:30am on Sunday mornings, then 9:00am at Whitmore Square and afterward, WestCare. 24 November 2015
We heard Lorraine’s hearty laughter from a distance. She was dressed in white with a new hairstyle and her fine looks and spirited personality lifted everyone’s mood. The old Christadelphian Church men cooking sausages and onions on the barbecues looked up. Their eyes sparkled.
Lorraine laughed and laughed; she laughed at what she said, what others said, or she simply laughed.
Some smiles turned to concerned horror when they saw split-second frozen expressions of fear that flashed across her face. And a section of hair missing that exposed her scalp, and the abrasion on her face. And an unfathomable knowledge or lack of knowledge in her blue eyes.
Here was rough and tumble yet fragile and delicate Lorraine doing her tightrope act on the razor’s edge between life and death. The young woman who brushes her hair fashionably, and wears nice clothing, and has the fast moves of a survivalist in a culture often hard on women.
Christadelphian Free Barbecue 8:30am every Saturday Hurtle Square (near Crazy Cottage) Pulteney Street, Adelaide 24 November 2015
Piano Player Wayne at Congress Hall
Piano Player Wayne prefaced his approval of Wednesday’s social gathering and meal at Congress Hall with the words: “I wouldn’t call it fantastic,” then praised both the food and the gathering.
He did notice that staff closed the roller doors on the kitchen when they were concocting their “secret sauce”, and saw Wayne looking in. Wayne said lots of new people were there, and that the Benson Room and courtyard was a better venue than the atrium and front verandah. Salvation Army
277 Pirie Street, Adelaide Wednesdays 4:30 - 7:30pm Free meal, coffee and social gathering 24 November 2015
(above) Ten cent deposit containers in a milk crate outside the Adelaide City Council (ACC) Works building alongside Anzac Highway. Someone has gone through the dirty ACC bins and transferred the deposit containers to a clean crate for the can collector who passes by on his bicycle.
The Ghost Who Walks wasn’t impressed with the Eliza’s Challenge free barbecue last Friday at 4:00pm in Whitmore Square. Father Christmas contradicted him saying there were chops and hamburgers and fresh salad and chicken rolls. He noted that The Ghost arrived late then left with a huge bag of food. Eliza’s Challenge Operated by Richard Hawke, formerly of WestCare 4:00pm every third Friday of the month in Whitmore Square, Adelaide 23 November 2015
Crazy Cottage Wisdom
An old man told me that renting a room at Crazy Cottage is based on need, his interpretation being that applicants need to “spin a good story; that you’re thinking of committing suicide.”
This helps social inclusion bureaucrats to statistically justify to the government how they’ve saved so many lives.
Mostly lies, of course, which puts honest people with integrity at a severe disadvantage.
23 November 2015
Whitmore Square going downhill
I was disgusted walking through Whitmore Square last Saturday afternoon. There were party decorations cluttered together in one area; well mannered Asian boys played basketball in another; and at one end of the park 15 or 20 white folk played African drums.
The only legitimate occupant of the square was a man lying under four or five blankets under the huge Moreton Bay fig tree. 23 November 2015
(above) These brand new Housing Trust units at 341 Victoria Road, Largs North were finished in August, 2015 yet have remained unoccupied since that date. Both of these empty units are ripe targets for scavengers seeking hot water systems, copper wiring and other fittings. This building may require renovations even before the first tenants move in.
Hutt Street Centre trying
to stop rival free food service
An employee, thought to be Brenda, at the Hutt Street homeless centre allegedly phoned the Adelaide City Council (ACC) earlier this week. She allegedly said that the 'COS We Care' free food service that distributes food and other items on Sunday mornings on South Terrace doesn’t have a permit to distribute free food.
An ACC employee subsequently warned Anne and Laura from 'COS We Care' that they’d be fined if they provided free food this morning to homeless people.
Hutt Street Centre claims their territory extends onto South Terrace and that 'COS We Care' is reducing their client numbers, and that this will affect their funding.
Hutt Street Centre management had previously been infuriated when 'COS We Care' had distributed free food on the footpath in front of the Centre. That was why 'COS We Care' moved to South Terrace.
Hutt Street Centre provides tea and toast on Sunday mornings along with limited amounts of takeaways then closes for the rest of the day.
In contrast, the two women from 'COS We Care' give away fruit and vegetables, processed food, home prepared food, clothing and shoes, and tea and coffee at 7:30am each Sunday in the Parklands on the corner South Terrace and Hutt Street.
They volunteer without pay to collect the donated food during the week and even pay for their own petrol and vehicle expense plus $500 a year for liability insurance.
In contrast, Hutt Street Centre has salaried employees who personally depend on funding from government departments, and from corporate and private donations. If homeless people and other clients on Sundays go to the superior 'COS We Care' van, this would affect Hutt Street Centre’s funding.
So Hutt Street Centre management appears to be trying to close down 'COS We Care' in an attempt to maintain their “market share”. Should this happen, the quality of food for homeless people will be reduced.
This morning, the 'COS We Care' distribution would have included 35 kilograms of cherries, but instead they arrived with an empty van and apologised to the homeless people who met them at 7:30am.
22 November 2015
No room at the Inn
Just seven people were waiting in front of the closed and empty Hutt Street Centre when Aileen “AJ” Jefferis from Ruf Us arrived about 9:20am on Saturday, then suddenly another dozen emerged from nowhere.
Trent on Crutches wasn’t there; he was at Blair Athol when he should have been in hospital, according to his Mum, “AJ”. Lorraine came over from the Armageddon Barbecue with Ajay, the New Zealand army veteran who served in Iraq, but can’t get the dole in Australia.
Ajay said that living outside required a strict routine because everything took so long. Charging his phone at the library took two hours; getting a coffee at Hutt Street Centre took two hours. Lots of walking.
Another New Zealander, who lives in his van, still hasn’t been approved for Disability Support Payments, which he can get in Australia. (He’s too honest.) He’s also depressed and can’t be bothered doing anything anymore, even simple things.
The ex-miner was there for a few minutes, as if checking out the scene to see if “AJ” would be safe. She had a young woman and an even younger man helping out. They were natural, friendly and kind, and were sensitive to those living outside. (AJ attracts good people.)
They gave away soy milk, Vita Wheat crackers, bottled water, rice crackers (some free of MSG), homemade roast beef meals, coffee and tea, used clothing.
The clothing was clean and neatly folded. Those living outside took small amounts. It seemed they were taking a change of clothing, as if they had just one set.
And then it was over. Ajay and Lorraine and three or four others stayed to talk; AJ and the young man went across the road for a coffee; the young woman went back to her kids; everyone else disappeared.
Meanwhile, the Hutt Street Centre remained empty, as it does most Saturdays. 22 November 2015
Adelaide Sky City Casino
There will be a new free slots tournament in December, based on the Elvis games in May. Train Wreck still hasn’t reclaimed his phone from the pawn broker. He’s recently been in hospital getting his defibrillator replaced; his heart flutters each fortnight when he loses everything.
The Cousin has discovered a lucrative way of making money from the Casino 22 November 2015
Inaccurate homeless statistics?
New employees at various homeless joints have always been surprised at the low number of clients who actually live outside. There are very few homeless in Adelaide, they conclude.
The official data from the Department of Communities and Social Inclusion Inner City Rough Sleeper Street Count of August 2015 supports this conclusion. On 4 August 2015 they conducted a survey using paid employees from 13 homeless agencies including Hutt Street, WestCare and Street-to-Home in the Adelaide CBD. 127 people completed the questionnaires that showed an average of 4.5 people who identified as homeless from each agency for a grand total of 57, just three of whom identified as Aboriginal.
What isn’t clear in the Inner City Rough Sleeper Street Count is how many paid employees spent how many hours looking for people living outside, and did they know where to look. Was it an expensive survey tying up dozens of salaried bureaucrats? How much did it actually cost, not just for the Department of Communities and Social Inclusion, but also for the 13 key homeless agencies?
And then the statistics; can be believe them?
Veteran welfare workers in the homeless scene scoff at the survey. While the general public might believe 57 to be a true figure, those who have developed an eye for identifying homeless people consider the number ludicrous.
Some people living outside avoid the homeless agencies because of their de facto surveillance and data collection for the government. What seems an inviting institution on first glance may become a nightmare of emotional entrapment.
Social inclusion welfare workers operating from homeless joints pressure clients to give uninformed consent via written contracts that give the agency the legal right to probe into a client’s private life. This includes contacting government agencies, doctors, psychiatrists, prisons, educational institutions, orphanages including incidents of being victims of child abuse, past employers and families.
From that position, the social inclusion workers may use less than subtle coercion methods of getting clients to accept support (psychiatric drugs, Public Trustee control of income, insulting and mildly threatening interviews, unwilling reunions with families, agreements to have various strangers visit them every week).
This is particularly painful for those escaping traumatic aspects of their lives, and may actually re-traumatise them. And all of it may come about because the person living outside wants to rent a cheap room or flat.
Within this psychological scenario we may re-evaluate the accuracy and worth of the Inner City Rough Sleeper Street Count of August 2015?
And can the Department of Community and Social Inclusion answer how much it cost the department in salaries to collect and collate the survey? And how much of homeless agency salaries went into this and previous surveys. And how many Housing Trust houses had to be sold to pay for the surveys? 22 November 2015