It’s a winter’s night in the city as Sam (not his real name) shivers his way through the streets and parks, wondering where he would find a space warm enough to sleep. It didn’t help that the previous night someone had taken his beanie while he was sleeping under the bridge, and that his gloves, scarf and socks were too tattered to bring any comfort against the chill.
In that moment Sam had never felt so alone. There were many thoughts racing through his head: “Did anyone really care? How had he ended up here? Would he ever get off the streets? Was there hope?”
Sadly, Sam’s story is not an uncommon one, as homelessness has become a growing reality in our nation.
It’s hard to deny the numbers, the ABS (Australia Bureau of Statistics) Census in 2006 revealed that over 104,600 people were categorised as homeless, 16,375 of which were rough sleepers (those like Sam sleeping on our streets).
Many have found themselves sleeping on our park benches as a result of a life crisis related to a relationship breakdown, addictions, unemployment and mental illness to name a few.
Our Hillsong CityCare Street Teams reach out to over 200 homeless people each week through a team of 20 volunteers. On any given night they can see up to 150 homeless people on the streets, who they come shoulder to shoulder with to offer food, build friendships and refer those who are wanting help to relevant social support services.
At Hillsong Conference, we are giving our guests the opportunity to bring new items of warmth such as:
· Sleeping bags
Or gift cards from Big W, Kmart and Target, that we will gratefully receive at our ‘Because We Can’ marquee during the week of Conference.
We are partnering with Mission Australia across their Mission Beat teams (homeless outreach service), and with local churches to distribute these items to those who need it most.
Thank you for joining us in extending generosity to our local communities.
For more information and to register for Hillsong Conference please visit hillsongconference.com
For more information on Hillsong CityCare please visit myhillsong.com/citycare