Homelessness is on the rise throughout many areas of Sydney. Expensive housing, mental illness, addictions, unemployment, and the loss of loved ones are just a few reasons that some have no place to call home.
On the 7th of September, the Rapid Relief Team in western Sydney, supported a local organisation; ‘Paying It Forward Homelessness Services’. Since its inception, a Penrith husband and wife team has operated this service. They voluntarily continue to provide meals 3 nights per week for those experiencing homelessness. Almost unseen by the general population, it is greatly appreciated by those who need the food and support.
At 6:30pm, the RRT deployed a catering trailer in a carpark near Penrith’s main street. Being Father’s Day, the RRT members cooked a tasty meal on the BBQ – around 90 sausages, dozens of eggs and bags of onions! Around 40 homeless persons attended. The eggs were popular – continual requests for them kept the team busy! Soft drinks and water was also provided. The RRT was able to cook directly from the BBQ on the back of the trailer. This meant that the meal stayed hot, and if more cooking was required, it could be done immediately.
After the meal, the RRT distributed some rugs to provide some comfort to those who sleep it rough on the streets. After weeks of changeable weather and cold nights, the blankets were well received. An RRT member was also able to fulfil one person’s request for a Bible. The convenient pocket size of the Bible means he can carry with him wherever he goes.
The RRT enjoyed working along with the dedicated ‘Paying It Forward…’ team. The RRT looks forward to working with them again soon, while continuing to do as much as possible in ‘supporting local communities in times of need’.