Year 8 Community Service for Homeless in Geelong
Year 8 Community Service students recently had an opportunity to learn first-hand about the plight of homeless people in Geelong.
At a local Salvation Army refuge, they prepared around 60 serves of pasta bolognese for the residents and for local homeless men and women. They also filled care bags with toiletries and snacks, with each bag containing a personal message to the recipients.
Jackie, a homeless Geelong resident who has been sleeping in her car for the past 11 years, shared her story with the students, enabling them to gain a deeper understanding into the complex reasons for homelessness. She described how receiving personal messages from students in care packs had been very meaningful and had reduced her feelings of loneliness. She explained that she had kept the messages long after the contents of the bags had been used, and often re-read them to lift her spirits. Jackie also shared some of the challenges and difficulties faced by homeless people, made all the more meaningful and poignant by including anecdotes from her own personal experiences.
Students learnt more about the work of the Salvation Army, both at the refuge and more broadly with homeless people in the Geelong area. They gained greater insight into the issues of crisis accommodation and homelessness, and played an active role in responding to these through creating the care packs and meals.
Our thanks go to Andy Allen, Salvation Army member and maintenance worker at Christian College, for his encouragement and support of this initiative.
Ms Marisa Bettiol
Year 8 Community Service teacher