Feed the Streets
After a couple of months of planning and preparation we launched Feed the Streets in July with our first 2 meals. The turnout of streeties – for us we’ve defined this as anyone that spends a lot of time on the street, whether they currently have a home or not – was small as expected, with 3 at the first and 4 at the second. I say expected, because we were deliberately trying to keep promotion of the initiative limited to word of mouth to ensure we were reaching the right people.
In these early days our main focus is establishing ourselves as a reliable fortnightly meal provider and building relationships with our guests to earn their respect and trust. While we ultimately want to involve our streeties in the cooking and have them supported by relevant services that will be invited to attend, we’re still some way off that happening. That said, a couple of our guests at these first 2 meals helped out in the kitchen and with setup/pack down which was cool to see.
Out of respect for their privacy I won’t go into any individual’s details here, but it’s fair to say there are some really serious issues out there. In that regard, it’s been nice providing a warm and welcoming environment with food (there and to take) for people facing some difficulties.
Another major positive for us has been the buy-in from our community and massive contribution from our volunteers. We actually have more people wanting to be involved than we have a need at this time, which is a great problem to have. The way everyone – volunteers and donors – have come together has been inspiring and we’re really grateful to have their support as we try and grow this initiative over time.
Leilani has begun collecting information for our Asset Map project, which will be like a directory of services, parks, businesses etc in Avondale. The reason for this is that a commonly shared issue for our residents is a lack of awareness of what’s happening and available in Avondale.
To date, this project has involved a lot of research online, walking/driving the neighbourhood and contacting people to get a better sense of their organisation/company. It’s also been a great opportunity for Lays to tell people about our wider Together We Are Avondale project and to encourage them to follow I Love Avondale to stay in the loop.
As the information gathering phase starts to near its end, we’ll be having more detailed discussions about how this info will be presented and where. At this stage, we aim to make it available online as an interactive page, as well as a PDF version with a limited run of hard copies held at places like the library and Citizens Advice Bureau.
Late-July we held our latest Together We Are Avondale Advisory Group (TAG) meeting at the Rosebank Peninsula Church to update our stakeholders with our progress so far. We covered our major initiatives so far like our 2 Neighbour’s Day events and Feed the Streets, and briefly mentioned others that we supported rather than led. In addition, I spoke more in-depth about our communications strategy and how I Love Avondale has been central to that, and Lays spoke about her work to date on the aforementioned Asset Map.