AJ remembers wearing a suit once. But since falling on bad times and moving south in search of work, he has been more concerned about keeping warm as he sleeps out in the cold each night.
More recently he’s set up ‘camp’ in a carpark, with the owner’s permission, and uses the locker room at the Hutt St Centre to store his few possessions.
Those possessions will now include a new winter jacket – thanks to the team at Peter Shearer Menswear.
Directors Martin Gilligan and Dharmesh Raman today presented the Hutt St Centre with more than 1000 jackets that were collected by the men’s clothing business over the past three months as part of its inaugural Winter Jacket Appeal.
Mr Raman had previously donated a trench coat to Hutt St Centre regular Arthur and this was such a hit that he and the team at Peter Shearer Menswear decided to do something to help the homeless to get through these cold winter nights.
“The aim was to collect as many jackets as possible,” said Mr Raman. “We predicted we would collect around 500 jackets, but due to the overwhelming support of the appeal we soon realised we would exceed this number.”
By the end of the appeal, not only had they collected about 1100 jackets, but they also had received hundreds of additional items such as thermal undergarments, blankets, shirts and pants.
“We are so impressed with the generosity and community spirit of the Adelaide public and we are extremely happy with the awesome result,” Mr Raman said.
Mr Gilligan said there were some “beautiful stories” to come out of the appeal, such as school children and footy clubs collecting hundreds of items.
“As a South Australian company, we are proud to support those in our community who are doing it tough experiencing homelessness,” he said.
“We hope that they felt a little warmer this winter as a result of our appeal.”
AJ said he had been visiting the Hutt St Centre for three years and had recently been getting some work at major events through the Centre’s work program. He said it was good to have an extra jacket to wear to interviews and to use when his other one was wet.
Jump to next article