By The Rev’d Barb Paull-Hunt
‘I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was naked and you clothed me, I was a stranger and you invited me in.’ Matthew 25: 35+.
As Chaplain of the S A Aquatic Swimming Centre Marion, I was asked by Adam Luscombe to join the team in watching a video on how the homeless were cared for up in Brisbane. Our minds were blown away, as an underground car park was turned into a motel for a week in winter for those who were sleeping on the streets.
Adam suggested that maybe we could do something like that here (at the Aquatic Swimming Centre) as we have many similar facilities in this one block, e.g. underground parking, S.A. Health, and dentist, and other services could be invited from the community around us.
Eight months ago Adam began asking around the SA Health and Dentist and suggested that we could use the underground car park at the swimming centre. Adam also asked if I could help with this?
Since then I have been able to anchor the hair dresser ‘Hair do on the run’, the Orange Sky Mobile Laundry, Edwardstown Rotary to make a hot meal for dinner on the evening of the pop up shelter and the Holdfast Bay Rotary to bring a hot breakfast the next morning. Adventure Connect have offered their 20 sleeping camp beds and the churches have brought from Snowys 20 sleeping bags, rugs and self inflated mattresses.
My next task was to anchor Anglicare, Thread together for some clothing on the night. There is a large box of socks, beanies and scarves supplied buy the parishes of Warradale and Somerton Park along with the hygiene packs made and put together by these two churches as they are working collaboratively with one another.
A box of soft toys and some books will be available in case some families turn up. The legalities of such an event has been taken care of by the SA Aquatic centre, and a flyer will be out soon thanks to Bernadette, Emma and Owen for their part in this Community Event. A small group of us will be distributing the flyers to some churches in the area and in and around Glenelg and the city.
We have people from the Paringa Park Primary School, Warradale and Somerton Park Churches that form a pastoral care group and other people from these groups that will help out on the night and morning, putting towels, soaps and hair products on the beds once they have been made up.
The Aquatic centre has arranged some security for the time of the pop up shelter. It may be inside on the ground floor and up behind the grand stand of the pool for more practical use and closeness of toilets and shower facilities, only the Aquatic centre can make that decision.
This is only an overview of what is happening in August. There will be another article to follow after the shelter for the homeless has happened. We are very grateful to those who have offered their services for the night and day of August to bring love and warmth and care to our community. ‘Not only a car park of swimming centre’
The Rev’d Barb Paull-Hunt is priest at the Collaborating Parishes of Warradale & Somerton Park and Chaplain to S.A. Aquatic Swimming Centre Marion & Somerton Surf Life Saving Club