Dear Inner Circle,
It’s nearly been two years since becoming Pastor & CEO at Wayside and a day hasn’t gone by when I haven’t been accosted by at least three of our homeless visitors each morning, trying to offer me advice on how to run things better. This week, one of my usual critics stopped me in my tracks when he said to me, “Thank you – without you I’d be dead.”
It reminded me that what we do at Wayside is a matter of life and death. The world is facing an unprecedented crisis as the COVID-19 threat unfolds, which is forcing many agencies to make difficult decisions about cutting back their services. Wayside’s services are needed more than ever for the survival of a community for whom self-isolation, Netflix, food stockpiling, and ‘rugging-up’ is all but a utopian fantasy.
We are determined to stay open, however, it won’t be ‘business as usual’ as we adhere to health advice. We are currently implementing bold plans to take our care from our building onto the streets, where we see the need increasing as jobs evaporate and more families are placed under incredible strain. Sometimes when we talk crises we hypothetically ask “What would you grab if your house was on fire?” So many of our homeless feel like they are those objects that have been left behind.
Our precious Inner Circle, I hope that you, your family and friends are as safe as possible right now. I know you’ve read this note each week and appreciated the stories of our visitors and life at the Wayside. I know you really care about helping those most vulnerable in our society, and you have been with us to support so many people in crisis as well as celebrate their hopes. Thank you. But I need you now more than ever. Please, would you stand with me by making a generous donation to support the most vulnerable within our community?Please Donate Urgently
Now, more than ever, we must do whatever we can to support people who are sleeping on our streets. We must be able to visit those who are living alone, vulnerable and isolated, and deliver the care they need.Please Donate UrgentlyWith robust precautions in place to protect the health of our community, and responding to an influx of people visiting our services, we are now implementing a new model of care.
We will now be focusing on emergency relief to provide the basics in order to keep people alive. We will provide takeaway meals, emergency clothing, water, blankets, showers and medical care. For those unable to visit us, our care team will continue to connect with people in crisis by phone and provide referrals into emergency accommodation, medical care and Centrelink.
We are mobilising a street outreach team to deliver food and care packs to people on the streets as well as front doors to people who are isolated at home, but still in of need of care and connection. Our cafes have closed, but we will provide takeaway meals from areas outside, as we encourage people to physically distance and remain safe. We will continue to remain agile to meet the needs of people who need us most.
Our visitors face social isolation every day, and Wayside Chapel is the only support they can turn to.
They have no choice, and so we have no choice.
We can’t stop. We can’t isolate. We must help others survive.
This is not just ‘love over fear’, but a matter of life over death for those on our streets.
Please stand with us. Help people in crisis by donating now.
Thanks for being part of the Inner Circle.