Posted by Luke Docking on May 18, 2023
Rotary Club of Essendon partnered with Youth Project’s Night Nurses to provide essential items for People in Melbourne who are street based. The project, called ‘Here Comes the Sun’, provides mainly items needed to get through Melbourne’s warmer months. 

On a balmy Wednesday evening, two Essendon Rotary club members accompanied Night Nurses on their regular mission, visiting people who are street based in Melbourne’s Central Business District. The major purpose was to offer assistance if needed, with food packs, hats, clothing and sunscreen lotion. The Night Nurses provided information and invited clients to attend their newly renovated premises, The Living Room, in Hosier Lane where they could shower, relax in the lounge room, use computer facilities or have a meal. Clients could also see General Practitioners, Physiotherapists, Dentists, Podiatrists and have nursing care for wounds, and other ailments dealt with. Unfortunately, The Living Room cannot offer accommodation. 

The first port of call was behind Federation Square where The Big Umbrella, a 13-year-old food relief organisation, catered for over 60 people, providing an extensive array of delicious meals prepared from food salvaged from stores and cooked in a professional kitchen. They even managed to create a birthday cake for one of the ladies at short notice, which was enjoyed by all.   

Behind the scenes there were continuous discussions with particular clients about their wellbeing, mental health and the administration of medicines. The team then meandered to Flinders Street Station and up Swanston Street to the State Library amid throngs of pedestrians commuting and attending the numerous Asian food establishments at the top end. Along the way we engaged with people squatting on footpaths or in wheelchairs surrounded by their belongings. Conversation was established and some accepted the items provided by RC Essendon through funds from the District 800 Rotary Foundation Grants.  

The team then headed down Russell Street with further encounters before returning to base. The whole experience was a humbling reminder of the prevalence of poverty in the streets; but also, the compassion and caring nature of the nurses from Youth Projects. 

Youth Projects is a registered charity and would gladly accept any donations of money or suitable goods.