How many times today have you walked past someone in Sydney who is homeless? Can you even imagine what it must feel like to not have a home? Yet, many of us put our head down and walk past these people believing that they most likely brought their situation on themselves. Maybe they did, but no one deserves not to have a place to call home. I know it's not practical to put money in the hands of every homeless person you see, however there are other ways to help and when I heard about DineSmart I thought I'd share what they do with my audience.
DineSmart works in partnership with leading restaurants who all raise funds for local homelessness services and projects between 21st November until NYE. How it works is if you are dining at one of the participating restaurants (or cafes) you have the opportunity to leave a small donation that will go towards funding a homelessness project. For example, Sydney Homeless Connect support people who are homeless or at risk with basic services and support. A couple of other projects are Milk Crate Theatre and Two Good (more details below).
Milk Crate Theatre use performing arts to change the narrative of homelessness and disadvantage. Through workshops and original productions they use the stage as a space to heal, grow and develop new skills.
Milk Crate Theatre productions bring together ensembles of people with lived experiences - challenging stereotypes of homelessness, disability and mental health to broader audiences. ‘That's The Spirit’, ‘Wasted’ and ‘No Place Like’ explored depression, addiction, and homelessness in often challenging, but ultimately uplifting performances.
Over the last four years, Milk Crate Theatre has run over 360 performing arts workshops throughout Greater Sydney with 573 participants. DineSmart has supported them with over $31k in community grants.
Two Good is a social enterprise that creates high quality delivered lunches. For every meal purchased, they give an identical one to a local women’s refuge for domestic violence survivors. Every meal is made from fresh, organic produce, and cooked by accomplished Chefs - and delivered to domestic violence shelters. Not only that, they also train and hire women from the shelters they serve.
From 2015-2017 they’ve served over 43,486 meals to women in refuges. DineSmart restaurants have helped us support Two Good with $20k in grants since 2015.
Some of the leading restaurant partners in and around Sydney are (Cafe Sydney, the Apollo, Chin Chin) supporting amazing projects like Milk Crate Theatre, Two Good and Sydney Homeless Connect.
The Grounds of the City
Cho Cho San
Potts Point Hotel
The Grounds of Alexandria
Pino's Vino e Cucina
The Potting Shed
Barangaroo Nighthawk Diner
Sai Thai Table and Tea
Bills Fishhouse & Bar
The Stunned Mullet
Port Macquarie City Bowling Club
Botanic Wine Garden
The Burger Rebellion
Drury Lane Eatery
So next time you dine out between now and New Year's Eve give some thought about the restaurant you choose and how you might be able to give some goodwill at this time of the year to someone less fortunate. After all, homelessness could happen to any one of us.
Visit www.streetsmartaustralia.org for more information.