‘I often think “How would I feel if I was without a home? Without the love and support of my wonderful wife and kids? Without my mates? Without my job?”Volunteering is good for me! It reminds me how lucky I am, how lucky we all are really.’ We are talking to Adam, a volunteer at Samaritan House that offers a bed to up to 13 homeless men in Geelong each night.
What is the aim of the recently-built Samaritan House?
The aim of the house is to supply support and comfort to those who may often feel isolated and forgotten. The house is very warm and inviting. Each of the men enjoy quality surroundings and their own room. We sit down and eat together and often find ourselves chatting about anything from footy to work opportunities – and from time to time, more serious and personal issues.
What we hope to provide is some mutual respect and dignity. Over time, this can help the men to understand that people do care and that life can improve.
The vast majority of the men spend quite some time at Samaritan House, perhaps weeks or months, and when they move on, they do so to much more positive circumstances.
I attend one night each month as a night volunteer. Each night there are two male night volunteers on site. Our role is to take control and oversee the safe running of the house if required. While many nights are reasonably quiet and peaceful, with laughs and good conversation, some nights do have dramas. Obviously the men are homeless for a reason – and sometimes issues show themselves at the house. It is on those occasions when the night volunteers step up.
What inspired you to do this?
Our community is what we make it. And we all enjoy the benefits of a great community. As a great community we are strong. As a great community we all benefit from the support and services offered, making our lives better. That community is like a team. A team of paid and unpaid team members pulling together. The more of us that help pull the more we all benefit.
What I do is easy. It’s one night a month. It’s a small price to pay to help me feel like I am contributing to this great community that we live in. To those of you thinking of doing something – do it! Its win/win!