As the people of Adelaide prepare to show their support for the work of the Hutt St Centre through the annual Walk a Mile in My Boots event, Lisa (not her real name) spoke of the “caring and understanding” people at the organisation which helped her when her life spiralled out of control following her divorce.
“I thought my marriage would last forever, and it didn’t,” Lisa said.
“After my divorce, I struggled with abusive relationships, manipulation, emotional abuse, and dependency issues, and I knew I needed to make a drastic change and get out before it was too late.
“I felt lost. I was very stressed. I looked very anorexic and I was very sick. I was anxious and depressed and I basically didn’t want to live. I had no support and I was very scared.”
However, a call to the Homeless Gateway put Lisa in contact with the Hutt St Centre and it changed the direction of her life.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for the support I received through Hutt St. They helped me get emergency accommodation while I looked for a private rental. I don’t know what I would’ve done without this.
“They gave me meals when I didn’t have enough money to buy my own food. I saw a financial counsellor at the Day Centre who helped me learn how to budget properly.
“Hutt St is everything to me. There is no judgement, they just listen. They are really caring and understanding.”
Meanwhile, Premier Steven Marshall has said there is no “quick fix” to concerns raised by some Hutt Street traders.
Speaking on ABC Breakfast radio, Mr Marshall said the group was “extraordinarily respectful of the work that Hutt St Centre has done for a long time” but added that “it is reaching a tipping point”.
“They’re quite aware that the issues are not necessarily 100 per cent to do with the Hutt St Centre, the centre has its own clients who it works with, but there are more and more people heading to Hutt Street at the moment and those people require a variety of services, not all of them can be provided by the Hutt St Centre,” he said.
“There’s still more work to be done…I can’t wave a magic wand and solve all their (the traders’) problems overnight.”
Mr Marshall said the Government would look at a range of options but stressed that it needed to come up with a solution that would “not just shift the problem” but looked at the cause of the “complex and inter-related issues” that existed.
Hutt St Centre chief executive Ian Cox said a review of the centre’s services would be conducted over the next six months and this would assist in determining the best outcome for homeless people.
The Adelaide Walk a Mile in My Boots event is on Friday August 10. Register at www.walkamile.org.auJump to next article