Homelessness and The Next Generation

There are over an estimated 100,000 homeless people in Australia on any given night. And charities such as Wesley Mission have seen a shift in the face of homelessness in recent years, from one largely of single, older men, to one where women, families and children are now a sizeable representation of the face of homelessness in Australia.

From July 2011 to June 2012, Wesley Mission provided 100,062 nights of care through safe and secure short term accommodation services. To support the ongoing work of the Wesley Mission, on Wednesday 19th June, 8 staff from Real Insurance participated in the Wesley Mission ‘Homeless Food Challenge’.

The Real Insurance team members were challenged to use only $10 to purchase enough food to feed a homeless person for 3 days. The food was donated to the Wesley Ministry & Mission (M&M) team for distribution at a later date.

The M&M team do not advertise that they give out food packages, yet they receive requests every day at their door. The different types of people asking for food each day are: homeless sleeping rough (on the streets), single parents with kids and families who may have to pay all their utility bills at once and have run out of money for food. Food parcels are packed as required to cater to allergies, cooking facilities available, number of people and number of days the food is needed.

Wesley Mission stated they “would also like to thank the Real Insurance team for the donation of blankets and winter clothing. These items have been sent to our homeless men’s and women’s shelter for distribution.”

“Wesley Mission would not be able to help the less fortunate people of Sydney without the support of schools, community groups and corporate groups like Real Insurance.”

Here are what some of the Real Insurance team members had to say about the experience:

"Curtis Stone, from Coles, can feed a family of 4 for under $10. But our task was much, much harder...feed a homeless person for 3 days for under $10! These people have no safe, secure affordable or comfortable home to live in, so 3 days of meals would be most welcome. But how to do it ? That is the question, a question that was both humbling and insightful to me personally. With the $10 of food I bought them, I hope it buys them enough time to find a way to live the life I live…a life where 3 REAL meals a day is normal" - Rachel

“It was lovely meeting the minister at Wesley Mission and I found it quite challenge purchasing 3 days of food (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for the homeless for $10.” - Nyomie

“The trip was interesting. The minister Graham told us a few stories about the homeless people he has dealt with. Hearing about their stories and what they have been through made us realize the causes of homelessness and how lucky we are to have what we have. The task of buying three days’ worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner with only $10 was quite challenging and interesting to think that there are people who survive off nearly nothing.” - Brearna

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