It Feels Good To Give. [Photo credit Abigail Keenan,]

Alma turns 100!

It’s 9am and Alma, one of our Home Care consumers, is at her usual haunt, Joe’s Bakery, steadily making her way through a mini sausage roll, party pie, and a large coffee. For someone who recently celebrated turning 100 on July 7, her appetite is so impressive it’s hard not to smile at her complete and obvious joy.

To read more about the wonderful Alma, click here.

A note from our CEO 

I’m pleased that this newsletter coincided with what is a very important week for us – Homelessness Week 2020 (August 2-8). It’s a time to reflect on what it would be like to be without a home, particularly in the middle of winter.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019, Specialist Homelessness Services Annual Report, the top three reasons people sought assistance from specialist homelessness services were:

• 42 per cent due to domestic and family violence. 
• 38 per cent due to financial difficulties.
• 25 per cent due to housing crisis.

We know there is up to 10,000 people in WA without a home, either on the streets, couch surfing or in overcrowded accommodation, and there are only 1,144 crisis and transitional beds available in WA – so it is a very sobering situation we have here, and that is before we have seen the full repercussions of the current economic downturn.

I hope you take a moment during this week to think about the impact – big or small – that you can make to the lives of the people that St Bart’s  support, and I encourage you to take a look at the valuable information provided by our peak body, Shelter WA, which is behind Homelessness Week. 

This week we celebrated with a low-key event, to thank BHP for its commitment to continue to support our Reconnecting Lives Program.

The successful outcomes of the first phase (2018-2020), coupled with the commitment the global resources company has to raise awareness about homelessness and reduce it, has transpired into a generous donation from BHP of just over $2 million to support the program for another two years.  BHP’s funding means we can support 150 consumers at any one time in the program, and create employment, with the funding supporting an increase to four case managers and two peer support workers.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our extremely generous community of donors for your wonderful contribution to our Give Them Hope Appeal that ran throughout the month of June. We were astonished at the generosity of those who gave, particularly in the trying times surrounding COVID-19.

From all of us at St Bart’s, stay safe and we hope you enjoy our latest news. 

Samantha Drury
St Bart's CEO   

Homelessness Week 2020

Radio segment
All of us here at St Bart's are extremely grateful for the ongoing support of BHP, and its commitment to fund our Reconnecting Lives Program for another two years. We were excited to share some valuable insights about the program on ABC Radio earlier this week. 
Have a listen to two of the people the program supports – 40-year-old Sam and 74-year-old Anne - who spoke to Jessica Strutt on the ABC Focus program on Monday. The Reconnecting Lives Program is supporting people to achieve long term housing success through outreach wrap-around services that support them as they move on from St Bart's. It aligns with the State Government homelessness strategy which prioritises Housing First.
For more information on the program and the first phase outcomes, take a look here.

Panel discussion
We were delighted to be invited to participate in a panel discussion hosted by Woodside Energy on Monday 2 August, in support of Homelessness Awareness Week, and this year’s theme ‘Everybody needs a home’.
Our Chief Operating Officer Lena Hopkinson, along with representatives from Foodbank and Lifeline WA, spoke to attendees about how COVID-19 is affecting those who are experiencing homelessness and the likely future impacts once government support reduces.
Lena also provided an overview of the work St Bart’s does to help some of the most vulnerable members in the community.
“It is really encouraging to see organisations such as Woodside shining a light on this very important topic,” Lena said. "Attendees were interested in how, as a society, we can address this issue as well as how they could personally help.”
In addition to funding the installation of a COVID-19 isolation unit at St Bart’s, Woodside staff have also raised over $8,000 for St Bart’s. 
Thanks Woodside!

Breakfast with BHP
In support of Homelessness Week 2020, we hosted a breakfast event to celebrate BHP’s continued partnership of the Reconnecting Lives Program (RLP). BHP’s Petroleum team is always looking for opportunities to engage with the people we support, so three BHP representatives rolled up their sleeves and joined three RLP participants to prepare, cook and then share breakfast together with other employees from both BHP and St Bart’s and some of our wonderful volunteers.
During breakfast, attendees had the chance to share stories and hear first-hand accounts of how the program is helping participants achieve their goals of living independently in the community.
Graham Salmond, BHP Country Manager Australia Petroleum, said BHP had made a commitment to continue its support of the Program because of its success - supported 135 people, with 108 maintaining stable accommodation, since it first began in 2018.
Also attending the event was Michelle Andrews, Director-General of Department of Communities, who said COVID had shown us that we have to put individualism to one side and work together to achieve goals. Highlighting the culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, where family and community comes first, Ms Andrews also said partnerships such as ours with BHP, and those between the government and the sector, are very important if we are to successfully tackle homelessness.
St Bart’s Chair Mel Ashton said there were not enough words to express our deep gratitude that BHP shares the passion and commitment to end homelessness and had agreed to fund the program for another two years.
RLP participant, Anne Haydon, said St Bart’s was her family now that her own two children has passed, and her case manager was supporting her to move into accommodation that she could manage on her own.

Take a look at a short video of the wonderful morning we shared here.

From heartbreak to hope

A story of how one man's tremendous loss turned into a restored hope for humanity through the generous outpouring of support from complete strangers.
This beautiful story on Barry, written by Alison Wakeham, featured in the Sunday Times. It documents how St Bart's worked with another Perth agency to make sure Barry had the dignity he wanted to bury his wife.

Read the full story here.

Celebrating our Aged Care workers

The last few months since COVID changed our world have been particularly difficult for those working in the aged care sector. On Friday 7 August we celebrated Aged Care Employee Day at St Bart’s where we operate a unique aged care service for men who have been at risk of, or experienced, homelessness. 
Our Chief Operating Officer Lena Hopkinson showed her appreciation by making some special chocolate arrangements and hosting a morning tea for our aged care workers in the James Watson Centre.   
Our CEO Samantha Drury and Lena thanked staff for their ongoing dedication and efforts, particularly during COVID. Aged care worker Arjun, who has been with St Bart’s for nine years, said along with his colleagues it was nice to be recognised for his efforts. 
“I really enjoy my job, especially as I’m constantly learning things from our consumers and sharing ideas with them as well.”

Basil connects with consumers

The people we support at St Bart’s, as well as volunteers and staff, were delighted to meet City of Perth mayoral candidate Basil Zempilas and his wife Amy recently when they stopped by for a tour.
Basil and Amy spent time chatting with residents at our Café Lime and Women’s Service to hear first-hand accounts from people who have been homeless.
They also spoke with our CEO, Samantha Drury, and other staff to learn more about how we support people who are at risk of, or experiencing homelessness.
“Meeting Basil today has made me the happiest I’ve been in so many years. I’m beside myself and have tears running down my face after talking to him. He is a legend and even gave me his autograph. I’ve wanted to meet Basil for such a long time,” said one of our consumers, Ken.
DeeDee, related to the famous Jetta footy players, even got her son on the phone for a quick chat.
“Amy and I came down to see the work that is being done at St Bart’s and to listen to residents and people who are running the facility. I wanted to see what the City of Perth can do to help if I were elected as Lord Mayor,” Basil said.
The other candidates for Mayor are Di Bain, Tim Schwass, Mark Gibson and Brodie McCulloch.

St Bart's 2020 Consumer Survey Results are in!

"I found staying here changed my life" - consumer, Men's Service

Now in its fourth year, the St Bart’s Consumer Survey is a self-reported survey that provides a valuable opportunity to hear the voices of consumers who access St Bart’s services.
The survey also provides an opportunity for consumers to reflect on what has changed for them since coming to St Bart’s. This is often an important part of recovery, especially when consumers are faced with several issues in their lives.
The survey provides a snapshot of data about the overall experience and satisfaction of consumers at St Bart’s, and highlights outcomes for consumers as a result of accessing St Bart’s services, aspects of service quality that are valued by consumers, and areas where we can do better. Results are analysed by service area and for the agency as a whole and are used to drive service improvements at St Bart’s. 
Highlights of the results are shown below based on 177 survey responses from men, women, and families in St Bart’s accommodation services and community housing. The majority of survey respondents were aged 46-64 years (45%) or 26-45 years (37%), and nearly two thirds (63%) were males.

Christmas comes early!

What else are you going to do with leftover Christmas pudding (that’s still very much in date!)? Our Arnott Community Recovery Village Support Workers organised a ‘Christmas in July’ lunch, and it was smiles all round! 
“We’ve had a few new people move into ACRV in the last few months, and it was great to see them attending, having fun and socialising with everyone there,” Luke said.
The event was a hit, with plenty of positive feedback: 
“Christmas in July was BOSSANOVA.” - Ian
“I enjoyed the experience and we all came together.” - Jillian
“Very enjoyable, fun even.” - Mark 
Meanwhile, our aged care residents also got in on the Christmas in July action, with a delicious luncheon catered by Cater Care. The dining areas were decorated all the colours of Christmas with dressed tables and Christmas trees, and the cheerful background sound of Christmas carols.
“Lunch was beautiful and the place looks so colourful,” said one resident, with many others saying they were glad to see the facility decorated and full of colour. 
Our James Watson Centre staff were so excited to be able to hold an event like this – something that was very much missed throughout the COVID restrictions. 

BikeRescue success

The central courtyard at Lime Street has been a hive of activity recently, with tools, bike parts and spray paint making an appearance on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 
Thanks to the 5-week Bike Rescue program delivered by the team at Dismantle, some of the guys in our services were able to get their hands dirty while being mentored through the steps of building their own bikes.
We chatted with Lawson Smith, manager of the BikeRescue program, to hear how it all came about and the reward that has come from it.

You can read it here.

Vollies go above and beyond

Since closing for months due to COVID, Café Lime is back better than ever and has been wonderfully supported by consumers from across St Bart’s services. 
There is a fantastic group of volunteers who drive the brekky service every Monday and Friday morning - namely Mark, Charlie, Julien, Regina, Anna, Karen, Malcolm and Jill - who all provide a great service.
Recent introductions of “Marks Magic Savoury Mince” and “Sausage a’la Charlie” have been received well. 
As a matter of interest our famous barista, Julien, has been making one hot beverage every 1.3 minutes. Not a bad effort!

If you missed the reopening,  take a look here.

Pottering around

It was a beautiful sunny day that marked the first volunteer activity at our Women’s Service since restrictions have eased, and what a success it was!
Nine women turned out to paint their own pot and fill it with succulents.
“It is good therapy and good to be able to share with friends.” - Kerry
“I have been here seven months and haven’t been able to do much – I do love to garden and it will be nice to put it in my room and have something to look forward to every day.” - Monica
Volunteers Sharon and Layla have already been invited back for more. Sharon said gardening was a therapeutic activity the women really enjoyed, and 18 year-old volunteer Layla said the women had helped improve her painting skills.

A message on positive thinking

by Chaplain Ross

The St Bart’s Chaplaincy Service has, at its core service delivery, a focus on Wellbeing for St Bart’s consumers and staff. Meeting with people in an open, befriending and listening way allows the chaplain to hear what the person is actually struggling with.
When we face difficult challenges in our life, they tend to become the main focus of our thinking. In extreme cases, it can consume us when we are unable to turn our thinking to anything other than the difficulty that we think is before us.
The benefits of positive thinking have been well documented. Here I share five simple steps that will help you do this for greater happiness and improved health - read on.

All rugged up

A wonderful group of women who get together regularly to knit have donated beautiful rugs for the residents here at St Bart's – helping people feel warm and safe on these cold winter nights.
Thank you Father Freeland for the donation of cosy, hand-knitted and crocheted rugs made by the women of St Mary’s parish in South Perth.

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St Bart's
7 Lime Street
East Perth WA 6004