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Practical support gave hope to Claude

Practical support gave hope to Claude

Practical support gave hope to Claude

21 March 2017

After years of being homeless himself, Claude now works at The Salvation Army’s Foster House in Sydney, supporting 85 homeless men every night.

By Claude Robinson

My story started when was 17 or 18 and I started dabbling in drugs.

By my early 20s it became a big issue. I had no stability, couldn’t hold a job. I ended up homeless on the streets in Melbourne.

One of the moments that I find really poignant, I was sleeping in St Kilda and I went to the Salvos in Grey Street. It was a freezing winter’s night. They gave me an extra blanket – two grey blankets, I still remember the colour – and that night I slept in a tree. It’s one of those nights I remember.

Over the years I’ve slept in [Salvation Army] homeless shelters in Melbourne, Cairns and Sydney.

I also remember I was in Goulburn Prison and my parents had both passed away while I was in prison. My father had died not long before, and it was Christmas and no one came to visit. But the Salvos were there.

It’s been really important to have that constant contact. When I last got out of prison, I got my house and it was the Salvos who came around and furnished it and gave me my first furniture.

In all those moments, when I didn’t think I could do it, a lot of people held hope for me, and made it possible. I didn’t do it alone.

Today I’m the programs manager at The Salvation Army in Sydney. I work with homeless men at the Foster House inner-city homeless shelter. We support 85 men every night who are homeless in this city.

I feel very blessed with the job that I get to do. I feel very humbled, too, that I work in Foster House where I once lived.

Do you need help?

Access The Salvation Army’s community support programs from where you are in Queensland and New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia or the Northern Territory.

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