Van brings hope to the streets

Van brings hope to the streets

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Tyrone Hansen and Keith ‘Cobber’ Lethbridge help run the Street Yarning Van.

A community service initiative that gives people in Armadale the chance to sit, have a chat and a meal has resumed after COVID-19 restrictions impacted its operation.

Hope Community Services provides much needed support to people affected by alcohol and other drugs, mental ill-health, youth justice issues and socioeconomic disadvantage.

Hope Community Services in Armadale has run a street van for more than a decade to assist people going through difficult lifestyle circumstances.

The Street Yarning Van is stationed behind Impala Café and Bean Thru on Jull Street every Thursday between 3.30pm and 5.30pm, where they set up a barbecue and have a chat with those in need.

Street Yarning Van manager Leeanne Bates said by giving somebody food and listening, both parties can get a lot out of it.

“We go out and give them a feed, and have a bit of a yarn with them,” she said. “It’s really hard for people that are on the fringes of society to be able to connect with somebody else and often they don’t find that easy to do.

“It’s pretty much an area where we make people comfortable, have a chat with them, see how every day life is going and see how we can actually help them.”

Ms Bates manages the van as a coordinator and community engagement person with the help of Tyrone Hansen and Keith ‘Cobber’ Lethbridge.

“Tyrone, Cobber and I are able to counsel but not in a case management way but rather in a way that we have a chat and then refer them off to other services,” Ms Bates said.

The City of Armadale gave Hope Community Services a grant to help pay for the food and the services of the van.

Mayor Ruth Butterfield said local community organisations play a key role in making the community a better place.

“Council is proud to be able to support the wonderful work of Hope Community Services,” Ms Butterfield said.

“Operating out of the Street Yarning Van, the Community Street Hub and the enthusiastic team behind it, offer assistance and a safe space for vulnerable people (young and old) to gather and talk over food and drinks.”

Hope Community Services Team Leader Kirsty Gibb said they accept donations of long-life food items such as canned vegetables and fruit as well as monetary donations.

“Other items that are useful are hygiene items, in particular for ladies sanitary towels and tampons are important,” she said.

“The Christmas before COVID-19 we received bereavement baskets donated, which is a laundry basket that has lots of items that we can give to families who have been effected by suicide or death in the family.”

“The bereavements include items to support the family. Things like toilet roll, coffee, tea, sugar, and biscuits because we know the family and friends will go to that family and they may not have the supplies there.”

For more information on how to donate, email Kirsty at Kirsty.Gibb@hopecs.org.au or Leeanne at Leeanne.bates@hopecs.au.