Coats for the Homeless – stories from the streets
Often in our Coats for the Homeless work we find ourselves building relationships with regulars who turn up time and time again at our designated spots.
One of our favourites is Aunty Jane. We first met Jane as a grateful recipient of one of the Order of Malta’s Coats and since then she has always been very keen to say hello and have a bit of a chat.
The word ‘Aunty’ is a mark of respect and a reference to the fact that she is an aboriginal elder. She is a bit of a celebrity in her area who always has a smile on her face, happy to see us turn up and lets us know who needs our help tonight.
She has been more than happy to share her sad story as a survivor of institutional sexual abuse from a very young age due to her intellectual disability. She tells us she featured on Lateline on the ABC several years ago and is always keen to get a photo or two with new friends. She is a strong positive woman who has been able to overcome hardship and now focuses on helping others.
She is attracted to these venues of homeless people looking for company and helping people look for the positives in life. Aunty Jane is not homeless herself and has a place to call home but the friends she spends time with on the streets are also part of her family. She is happy with her life and is just keen to spread a bit of that happiness around.