IF Fremantle resident Lynne Collins wins Lotto she plans to build a place where homeless people can sleep safely at night.
“To put a roof over their head, so they can get a good night’s sleep,” she says.
It’s not just the cold, wet weather that makes sleeping rough hard; the homeless are often the target of verbal and physical assaults, “and being pissed on,” Ms Collins says.
When she heard last year that St Pat’s homeless shelter was no longer providing weekend meals due to government funding cuts, she literally stepped up to the plate.
With a stack of bacon and eggs she set up her barbecue on the Fremantle Esplanade, but was moved on a few weeks later by council: “They said I could go to Pioneer Park.”
Instead she took her barbie to the small park on Parry Street near St Pat’s, which is well known to homeless people, who are now drawn to the smell of bacon and music.
“I put music on and we sing and dance,” Collins says.
The only rule is breakfast guests aren’t told what to do and while volunteers cook, guests grab rolls and make their own coffee and tea. “We want them to have the opportunity to choose because you don’t have a lot of choices on the street.”
Lynne’s Breakfast for the homeless in Queen’s Square, Fremantle, has become a roaring success and is now held on every second Sunday of the month.
Ms Collins’ passion to help the homeless has bled into her work life and her bosses at PKF Accounting sanctioned a monthly casual Friday for a gold coin donation.
The money goes to care packs that include soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes and small notepads and pens.
Associated firm TAO Accounting is sourcing sleeping-bag backpacks, another firm donates chocolates, and the Fremantle Maritime Union of Australia donates bacon and eggs.
Ms Collins is liaising with other groups helping the homeless from Fremantle, Yangebup and Rockingham, “so we don’t overlap and can support St Pat’s.”
For more info go to Lynne’s Breakfast on Facebook, or call her on 0431 816 210.
By JENNY D’ANGER