Outreach:

Since 1985, a team of Steps’ workers and volunteers have been meeting at the steps of Flinders St Station at night time and engaging with young homeless people. They then meet with these young people during the day time and provide intensive support which includes personal and practical support, referral and advocacy and material aid. This support enables the young people to create pathways out of homelessness and encourages connectedness back into the mainstream community.

Steps is based on a relational model where workers and volunteers come alongside young people to get to know them and support them. By being a positive role model and treating each person as a precious child of God, they demonstrate that they believe in the young person and have hope for their future.

Recently, Steps celebrated 30 years of service to the homeless with a fundraiser concert and photography exhibition. It was a great night of celebration, with over 200 attending. The full story and some photos can be found in our Stories section.

 

Homelessness Resource Kit

This resource contains activities to help Year 9 & 10 students understand and respond to homelessness while exploring their own values of social justice, generosity, inclusion and acceptance of diversity. It incorporates outcomes from the Australian Curriculum in Civics and Citizenship, English, History, HPE and the General Capability strands of Personal and Social Capability and Ethical Understanding. The resource uses inspirational poetry and stories by homeless people, video clips and links to website resources.

$29.95 per kit incl. DVD and Under the Bridge: Voices from the Street
Order your copy
All proceeds go to continuing the work of Steps.

Under the Bridge – Voices from the Street

Concern Australia, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Southbank, launched Under the Bridge in 2010. Under the Bridge combines inspiring poetry and stories of Melbourne’s homeless with stunning photography by Melbourne students and professional photographer, Peter Casamento.

$15 each or 2 copies for $20
Order your copy
All proceeds go to continuing the work of Steps.

Celebrating 30 Years
Steps Concert for Youth Homelessness and Photographic Exhibition

On May 8th, Steps Outreach Service held a fundraiser concert and photographic exhibition to celebrate 30 years of helping the homeless youth of Melbourne from the steps of Flinders Street Station. The Concert was a great success with over 200 people attending and $7,000 raised. The audience was entertained and inspired by brilliant performances by gifted musicians and amazing young photographers displaying their works. We also heard the inspiring story of Sheree and Cyrus as they shared about their journey out of homelessness.

The Exhibition was a display of the winning images from our Homelessness Photography Competition held in Melbourne secondary schools. The winner was ‘Hope’(below) by Mac.Robertson Girl’s High School student, Zainab Sayeda.

In Zainab’s words, ‘This image represents a constant struggle present within the homeless, and also those that are going through a tough time.
That struggle is between having hope, and giving up. Many people can’t live off hope for very long, because sometimes the effort needed to have hope sometimes doesn’t equate to the results.
But on the other hand, giving up simply means that there is nothing to look forward to, and no probability of a better future.
Hope, although it is hard, can sometimes be the key to turning someone’s life around. So it’s important to always have hope.’

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Hope by Zainab Sayeda

It was wonderful to see people from all walks of life coming together, including some who are currently homeless and those who have been homeless.

We even reconnected with ‘Susan’, a young woman who was supported by Steps a number of years ago when she was 16 and living on the street. She is now doing really well; working and living in stable accommodation. She loved the concert and got a lot out of it. The next day she rang to find out how she could become a volunteer helping homeless people. It is wonderful to see how the intensive relational support provided by Steps helps people such as Susan to turn their lives around.
Choir Singing_compressed

Choir Leaders and Anne_compressed As you can see from the photos of the evening, everyone had a lot of fun with the Choir of Hope and Inspiration (formerly Choir of Hard Knocks) a real treat.

Below are some of the other notable photographic pieces from the runner-up and third placed contestant in the competition. As a follow-up event, Steps will be holding a Photographic Exhibition in the Atrium at Federation Square in The Atrium, as a part of their lead up to Homelessness Prevention Week. (Click Here to see more info)

Thank-you to everyone for your support of this event – without you we would not be able to support Melbourne’s homeless youth.

Anne Mitchell
Manager
Steps Outreach Service

Other Photographic Competition Prize Winners

  • Second prize:
    ‘Untitled’
    by Katelyn Dawson-Brunsch
    Fountain Gate Secondary College
    ‘In social media we often see signs being shared saying 1,000 likes and…
    This is my version of that. To bring awareness to the world that a photo is powerful, that homelessness is very real.
    Everyone, even the homeless, need someone to care even by sharing just one photo.’
  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Third prize:
    ‘Untitled’
    by Jade Vasiljevic
    Fountain Gate Secondary College
    ‘The photo of the candle represents homelessness as it looks alone, trapped and hurt. It shows loneliness, hope and the feeling of being vulnerable.
    It appears to be isolated from the world and everything around it.’
  • Jade Vasiljevic untitled_compressed

The Steps Concert Committee with their smiles on:

Steps Concert April 2015 - Steps Team_compressed2

 

 

 

 

 

I want justice—oceans of it.
I want fairness—rivers of it.*

You can see the pain in his eyes as he sits on the steps and tells us his story.

Growing up, he tells us, he always felt like the ‘odd one out who didn’t fit in’. He was constantly and brutally bullied at school and hated his time there.

Julian left home when he was 15 and has been living on and off the streets since then. During that time, he has stayed under the bridge near Southbank, in squats, on friends’ couches, in crisis accommodation and in youth detention.

Mental illness and the chaos of life on the street led him to drug use. He was smoking cannabis and injecting heroin daily. When he talks of his five years living on the street, through his eyes we relive the terror of being assaulted and ‘rolled’ for his money, the intimidation of others, the shame of his own criminal behaviour and drug use, the degradation of not having anywhere to call home or even to have a shower and wash his clothes, of existing on one meal a day because the priority was to get drugs.

But then we see him smile as he talks about meeting workers from Steps who talked to him, cared for him by giving him clean socks, sleeping bags and food vouchers, advocated for him to get into crisis accommodation and rehab and most of all showed him unconditional love and hope.

He talks about the support he received to help him complete a drug rehabilitation course  and ‘stay clean’. He speaks of his thankfulness for people who believed in him and never gave up on him.

Julian is no longer using drugs. He is in the middle of a fitness course and works out at the gym every day.

Julian has realized that he is not the ‘odd one out who doesn’t fit in’ but that he is a unique creation of God, who is loved.

*Amos 5:21-24 The Message

 

Steps’ supporters 2016:

  • The Anglican Parish of Mt Dandenong
  • Capital City LLEN
  • Casamento Photography
  • City of Yarra
  • Clayton Church of Christ
  • Grill’d Southbank
  • Gospel Resource
  • RE Ross Trust
  • Rotary Club of Central Melbourne Sunrise
  • Rotary Club of Port Melbourne
  • Rotary Club of Southbank
  • St Hilary’s Women on Thursday group
  • Streetsmart
  • The Welsh Church

Christmas gifts:

  • Mt Dandenong P.S.
  • St Matthews Anglican Church
  • St Michaels and All Angels Anglican Church
  • St James and St Peter Anglican Church
  • The Sweett Group
  • TAL

Homelessness Photography Exhibition & 2016 Calendar:

  • Capital City LLEN
  • Calendar Print
  • Casamento Photography
  • Deni Hexter Marketing Communications
  • Federation Square
  • Gluttony Café Collingwood
  • North Fitzroy Community Church
  • Ted’s Camera House

Christmas party:

  • Choice Catering
  • Rotary Club of Port Melbourne
  • The Welsh Church

Homelessness Resource Kit:

Steps partners

  • CHP Council to Homeless Persons
  • CCLLEN Capital City Local Learning and Employment Network
  • Megan Bonnici (graphic design)
  • Casamento Photography

Outreach

To young homeless people on the steps of Flinders St Station at night time. Follow up intensive support during the day time that includes relational support, advocacy and referral and material aid.

Education

Through our publications, ‘Under the Bridge’ and the ‘Homelessness Resource Kit’ for Secondary students we aim to disseminate information and understanding about homelessness to the community.

Filling the Gap

The Steps’ ‘Filling the Gap’ project provides intensive long-term support to young people transitioning out of care with the aim of preventing them from becoming homeless.

Staying Connected Project

helping children who have experienced homelessness and family violence to stay connected to school.
Support to break the generational cycles of family violence and homelessness by helping the children stay connected to school, engage with peers and develop a talent or skill they can achieve successes in

Anne Mitchell
Anne MitchellManager
Mobile: 0425 770 048
Telephone: (03) 9470 2972
Fax: (03) 9478 7407
Email: anne.mitchell@concernaustralia.org.au