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Fridays Foodvan saw a bland meal served by The Main van. Mashed potatoes served with rice? Yes, but you have to cook the rice(this was congealed lumps) and properly mash the potatoes. However that and the unexpectedly hostile attitude of Exodus staff failed to dampen the enthusiasm and gratitude of the many who embraced Jef and Alina as they enjoyed celebrating Just Enough Faiths 16 years of hard work in developing the best homeless and marginalised food service in Sydney.
Thursdays cold miserable wintry evening was I felt, perfectly catered to in the main meal department with an appropriate spicy stew type dish served. Alex may have accidentally left one of his recipes at Exodus yesterday or maybe he actually cooked it-it certainly seems that way(Jokes). All compliments to the chef. Proof that on occasion, whether by accident desire or design Exodus can get it right. An unusually small gathering with many regulars put off by the rain were well catered to by one of the complete JEF crews left- with only a couple of members temporarily missing. As is now a regular thursday occurrence, much appreciated by our community, The Team from Clothesline again distributed most welcome warm weather gear. Its remiss of us not to acknowledge the regular attendance Tuesdays and Sundays by the Salvos Oasis Youth Services program with their much appreciated hot coffees and Internet, The Brothers of St Laurence with coffees Saturday and the lady who for many years has brought along and distributed the bakeshop goodies(and I don’t know for sure which shop/s). Guys,when you get something from any of the services, including Exodus, there is nothing wrong with a simple thank you. The volunteers don’t have to come here-they choose to. And for this reason, ANY abuse of ANY volunteers is way out of line… that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t point out things which you may find wrong or offensive-by all means pull people up. But don’t abuse them.
Wednesdays foodvan fare while liked by a good few people was widely described as bland.I describe it as institutional fare- in line with what ACOSS members Uniting Church and government conspire to deliver. I once had occasion to read an english language translation of the works of a German doctor, a Meinherr Mengele, researching the minimum calorie and nutrient intake required in order to provide just enough nutrition to carry out specific tasks. This comprehensive research identified different food types and nutrient levels required to “just maintain” a person to do everything from “just exist” to doing mental gymnastics or the hardest physical labour and is presented as a management tool to ensure that people have enough energy to carry out the required tasks, but insufficient to carry out any “extra curricular” activities. This important research was carried out using Jewish and Gypsy subjects in the Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camps during the Second World War.DR MENGELE was otherwise known as The Angel of Death. I became aware of it when my dearly loved accountant mother in law found it a useful cost management tool in her 17 Rest Homes. She was able to ensure that the people stayed alive, but were compliant undemanding and requiring the minimum of activities. Applying this research increased her nett bottom line by eliminating demand for activities which did not contribute to the businesses financial wellbeing-always the first consideration. Over many years I have noticed chilling similarities between her “applied Mengelism” and the diminishing services provided to marginalised people by those organisations (government & NGO) who are the public face of social responsibility.The low nutrition value food delivered to homeless and marginalised people in public healthcare and marginalisation service institutions is for me an eerie reminder of that research,its application,its purpose. Aside from the findings of this controversial research, there is a broad body of evidence from numerous professioons and sciences which point to the impact of diet on physical and mental health. There is a body of evidence supporting the hypothesis that people “liking” certain foods is in general the bodys natural selection of its own requirements. These are the compelling reasons that I find JEFs Foodvan Services unique in the fishtank of charitable marginalised service providers, a dolphin among the sharks. Patrons are able to select according to taste- there is choice other than the disempowering choice of eating or not eating. This can only happen with multiple choices being served simultaneously. Since the Government/Exodus takeover in spite of some attempts by some people in Exodus raise the standards, there is a lack of serious intent to manage consistency. And without consistency of good quality as provided by JEF, the benefits of the occasional high quality meal are wasted. I suppose that this item will trigger a flood of applications for research funding by poverty industry operators. Jef Gambin didn’t need to see a report. He simply looked in the right places and delivered-Right on target.
Tuesdays foodvan report; With a little help from a very well resourced progenitor and promoter of Open Source software we were able to make a comprehensive assessment of our site problems, and resolve those, we believe, via some very unorthodox channels which we hope you will never have to use. Suffice to say, having identified the ip address to which our problems resolved, and their probable ownership, SydneyHomeless made the conscious decision to sidestep rather than challenge, as our objective is to enable and empower the independent delivery of quality nutritious food at the foodvan, in the range to which we have become accustomed for the last 16 years-which does not have the potential to happen under current Government/Exodus arrangements.We believe that the MOU these aforementioned parties signed foster mediocrity of service with the medium term intention of dissipating the client base due by providing the same mundane low quality fare which is a typical institutional feature and in fact the reason that numerous Foster House(Salvos) and Matthew Talbot (Vinnies) paying residents are forced to supplement the insufficient bland meals they pay for with meals at the foodvan. Why would they come and eat at the foodvan if these organisations were actually feeding their clients rather than feeding their revenue streams? And why, with the extensive funds lavished on research by Exodus sister organisation Wesley Mission, did they close the only place in Sydney where women (and families) could go for an emerency evening meal (Edward Eagar) to all but residents? This callous decision has forced women to consider prostitution and drug dealing just to afford a hot nourishing meal of a cold evening. Of course,few of the highly paid number crunchers or executives of these pseudo charities are out and about among the homeless after office hours- and our view is simply that for the most part, they couldn’t care less. This is the important difference between Just Enough Faith and “the rest”. Just Enough Faiths core constituency has always been ”the people who need services when all the other services are asleep.” And this upstart micro charity, devoid of the hundreds of thousands spent by pseudocharities on consultancies and other government/ funding milking apparatuses simply looked, correctly identified the missing links, and in their typical unassuming equality based way, provided not only the services but leadership of their charity and pseudo-charity peers, which compelled those who provided lip service and institutional quality only on media days to lift their game or shut up shop. Just Enough Faith did so simply by providing the superior service they are renowned for, not by pointing the finger simply by showing leadership. WE THANK JUST ENOUGH FAITH, NOT FORGETTING ALINA AND THE INDOMITABLE JEF GAMBIN, WHO HAD THE RIGHT MONGREL IN HIM TO DREAM JUST ENOUGH FAITH INTO REALITY….. and it is an indictment on the veritable ocean of evil sharks who for personal, organisational and financial reasons conspiratorially contributed to what they perceive as the demise of the Gambins and Just Enough Faith- we say, wrong bet!!! The Gambins, we are pleased to say,have done nothing wrong and are far from hiding beneath the ubiquitous rock…why should they?
Mondays foodvan saw the many complaints re the main meal served early, by midway through the night they were down to ham and rice only.Late attendees reported the van closed up and they were refused meals at about 5 to nine. This situation is thoroughly unacceptable. It is a regular occurrence for Exodus to run out on Mondays.But this is the first instance known to us of people being refused before 9. On the volunteer front, we have several people queuing to volunteer.We are also not going to sign them up with Exodus, to be come a further reason for that organisation to raise funds in our name to support their bureaucracy and other agendae. Groups prepared to commit to providing services are also reluctant to contribute to a “church run project.” And while Exodus are here we have no intention of supporting their use of our name to raise funds- not while they serve up institutionalised meals and the service vaccilates, peaking at acceptable mediocrity.
Wednesday saw implementation of a new layout for the foodvans courtesy of Exodus geniuses Gus and Karen(who never wants to take credit for anything). In this layout, the guys in the queue now access the secondary food products directly from the queue, and the yellow monstrosity is more accessible thanks to utilisation of the kerbside which means that food is no longer being served over peoples heads. The layout also appears to handle the queue more eficiently with all served by before 9 from an admittedly smaller crowd, with less repeat requests due to other regular services in the area Wednesdays.Well done Gus. Food was a mildly spicy chicken affair served in good proportions and adequate for the night, although we still received a fair number of complaints. Face reality,peepz, Exodus is a different operation whose first consideration is its budgets. We don’t think its either their intention or desire to meet the same service quality as Jefs- thats just not in the wider interests of the Uniting Church of whom Exodus is a subsidiary. Uniting Church has many tentacles such as Wesley Mission well known for taking millions of dollars in the name of marginalised people, while providing minimalist services. Exodus serve a vital propaganda role within the wider church. At the pulpits throughout middleclass Australia Uniting church preachers are perfectly positioned to allude to the “good works” provided by Exodus to incentivise donations.There is absolutely no accountability for these church slush funds, which in fact deliver few benefits to marginalised people and none that we know of that do not exploit the marginalised “constituency”. There is also little accountability required of Exodus by government.Unlike non-church Just Enough Faith, Exodus are exempted from any State government scrutiny.In any case, government readily condones the use of the majority of funds raised to finance organisational infrastructure, while the actual marginalised community get, comparatively, the scraps. Most charities operate like this, a situation that is quite acceptable to government- but not to us.
Tuesday nights foodvan saw a quite subdued atmosphere at the foodvan and tonight our issue is DOGs. If you are going to bring your dog to the foodvans and you are welcome to do so, please keep it tethered and away from the food serving areas. When you queue, don’t have your dogs in the queue, tie them up.Not on the stairs where the public pass by.This is an Exodus call due to the large numbers of dogs attending, and compliance with food regulations. I think its a good call and we endorse it. And guys who don’t bring dogs, instead of putting the half full plate you didn’t like in the rubbish bin, ask one of the dog owners if they want it for their dogs.You don’t walk up to a baby you don’t know and stick lollies in its mouth so don’t do it with the dogs if you don’t know dog and owner. Ask first. Some people react with extreme prejudice to strangers feeding their dogs. Oh, and if the unseasonally balmy weather of late of an evening is due to any intercessions Bill Crews may have made with entities it is said only preachers have a hotline to, then he got that right as well- thanks,Bill,just ask if the chilly nights which follow can be prevented please. Oh, food and services? Much of a muchness as the foodvan diners dilemma kicks in of complaining about free food. We missed the lovely Tuesday lady who for so long has graciously given her time serve our main meals and we hope to see her back soon-we missed you! The book ladies and men turned up as usual with a bigger crowd of avid readers poring over the wide range of literary offerings from that quarter and the Salvos coffee/internet van was again in attendance, as usual and well patronised. SydneyHomeless updates are sometimes slower than previously provided, sometimes a day or so late.We have been experiencing a range of technical difficulties, such as being locked out of our API interfaces on this site, Twitter (www.twitter.com/sydneyhomeless) Skype.Regulars will have noticed the recent change to our look and feel and that change has been driven by a need to provide clarity, with gremlins inexplicably getting into our code. We know that coincidences like this don’t happen very often excepting when they are not coincidental. We suggest you join us on Twitter as we will be publishing as it happens alerts and updates regularly on that real time micro-blog.
A biggish Monday crowd saw the very last person get apparently the very last plate available.Chef must have counted heads from the kitchen in Ashfield, good work. Quality was okay measured by Exodus standards, a stew, with a few complaints about the regularity(I hadn’t noticed), and some of those about the quality also. We emphasise that compared with other city foodvans the food is superior, as a sometime Youth off the Streets volunteer who helped out here recently pointed out, theirs,the only other hot food service nightly,doesn’t compare. But it doesn’t have the range or ambience of Jefs. And the quality is variable in typical institutional style.There is very much the imported “them and us” demeaning institutional attitude which is straight out of church based charities as observed over the Exodus tenure of the service- and the ongoing issue of image mattering more than substance.
Sundays foodvan saw maybe 220 peepz on a balmy night reminiscent of late spring well served in the main. Food quality up for week today however a consensus across the street peepz is that quality has become patchy. In our view Exodus have one eye half open in their quest to address our needs. The other eye is fully open and fully focussed on growing revenue streams. We have seen their high cost structure from the very inception with the yellow monstrosity kicking in at we are told considerable cost, yet incapable of supplying the quality or quantities which JEF provided. This money could have been better spent on food- and the old JEFIt seems that Exodus may have formed an intent to stay on, and maintain the service levels they currently provide. This is utterly unacceptable to us- we have always said that quality must be returned to the previous levels which JEF provided- daily and reliably- in spite of the financially crippling damage done by a particular journalist who happens to be a neighbour of the mentally unstable source relied on by “the authorities” to substantiate their vendetta against Just Enough Faith. And we are just a little sick of Major Poverty Industry Subsidiaries such as the Uniting Church pleading poverty to sucker huge donations from a gullible public and corporates incentivised by tax considerations- while spending the funds to maintain their high cost low benefit delivery structures as we have seen for the past two months. Extraordinary costs seen at the foodvan include paid staff(JEF 100% volunteers) high rental van. We understand that they have also altered the JEF foodvan so that just like the yellow monstrosity, they won’t fit much food in it- which may be grounds to go early on legal matters. Returning to food matters and giving credit where its due, Exodus did okay tonight.
Saturday nights foodvan saw a crowd of perhaps 200 diners and the usual Sai Baba presentation supplemented with pies and their usual delicious fruit salad.
And tonight there were wisespread expressions of dissatisfaction from a broad cross section of the community, with the rapidly diminishing quality of the main meals. Notably, these comments are supported by the substantial numbers of homeless and marginalised who are no longer using the foodvan with the widely given reason that there is little difference between the food available now, as compared with the other institutions- the quality has diminished that much. These observations are heeded by us first and foremost because they are the widely held view of marginalised community members whose continued existence in the Sydney City Council area is compromised by falling standards at this essential facility. And this gives us cause to speculate as to exactly what Exodus written and unwritten agreements with its various government partners, who have given it a defacto legitmacy in being here in the first place,may be. It is well known that Exodus are Ashfield based and do not have resources or natural links with the Sydney City area.It is also known that State government would like to attract marginalised people to “the cheaper areas”- largely to drive up Inner city property values for their developer patrons. The Jefs Corner Foodvan service has been so successful for so long not because of its ability to tune in to government wishes, but because JEF tuned in directly and responded to the needs of the marginalised community. Just Enough Faith served the interests of the marginalised community alone-not as a subservient appendage of government church or any other organisation. And few would argue that like any organsation or person, Just Enough Faith made mistakes; but theirs was not an application for Sainthood, nor a using our people as stepping stones in a pathway to higher office. But Just Enough Faiths commitment was to run a foodvan which provided a selection of quality nutritious hot meals every night- that our community could rely on as their primary source of a nutritious meal- they faithfully carried out that commitment for over 16 years, and would continue to do so were it not for the connivance of a rich merchant banker, a less than average small business operator and their related parties within the media and government.These people wanted to turn Just Enough Faith into their private cash cow-keeping the cream and giving us the whey,just like the charities and NGOs governments are so keen to do business with. WHAT MADE JEFS CORNER UNIQUE WAS JEFS SINGLE MINDEDNESS IN PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE OF FOOD SERVICES TO OUR COMMUNITY-AND THIS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO BE DIMINISHED BY EXODUS OR THE “PRO-HOMELESS INDUSTRY ” “ANTI HOMELESS PEOPLE” STATE GOVERNMENT. AND JEFS CORNER SERVICES MUST REMAIN THAT WAY-UNBEHOLDING TO EXTERNAL INTERESTS AND AGENDAE.
Friday nights foodvan count 237 on this dare we say balmy winters night.Have the weather gods reached the peak of chill weather and begun the descent into warmer climes.Alas,we fear not! Just an abherration and a few more cold ones left to come. Delicious soup which I think was ham & pea based, and a nice sausage based main. One commentator said that without being insulting he had noticed that the evening meal services had taken on the hallmarks of institutionalisation. We, the writers, had never looked at it that way before, but that was what he had to say.Our foodvan reports will be less commentative in future but we will include a nightly count figure as many have requested. There seem to be more DOCs affiliated organisations turning up to scare the kids away.When will they realise that by diving the kids away from Free Food sources they drive them straight into the welcoming arms of the prostitution and drug dealing industries? Until you have a practical solution ASKED FOR BY KIDS we suggest all DOCs sponsored NGOs conduct their spying and family destruction activities at places facilitated and funded by DOCs which should have kids and adolescents flocking to them. The kids that eat at Jefs Corner like all marginalised community members, have a right to be protected from incursions by organisations which collect information for DOCs without first informing kids of their mandatory reporting obligations, AND HOW PERSONAL INFO CAN BE USED.THATS SPYING!!!
Thursdays foodvan saw a normal queue of hungry diners waxing lyrical about the initial ham dish and uncomplaining about the pies later. While these dishes are acceptable, consistency is vital to maintain and for some reason Exodus seem to have issues with mondays.Why we are not sure.But thats when they often run out, are really scraping the barrel at the end of the night,or the food is what you might expect from Matthew Talbot. We are not about to endorse DOCs vision of insubstantial services to our community until they become income generator units for some government funded NGO.
Wednesday saw the now standard smallish crowd with numbers impacted on by popular other weekly services in the area, including those of the much respected Coptic Church group.Food was excellent with no complaints noted.
Tuesdays fare was much better than the previous days effort; a crowd of just under 200 perhaps seemed well catered to, with no mentionable complaints registered. Jef popped in briefly to distribute some much needed jackets and winter woollens. he has asked members of the community to give his best regards to the community and volunteers who make this operation the success it is. The federal government have just started distributing $800 million dollars to State Governments and territories. Don’t expect to see any real benefits from this as State government and the poverty industry actually spend the bulk of this money on their own organisations. While they gorge themselves o the fat lamb they are careful that what crumbs do fall onto the floor they would like us to eat from are carefully checked to ensure absolute minimal nutritional value. And that is the Policy of State Government. Don’t help the homeless when they are homeless- force them(us), using progressively more invasive policies, to become income generators for as many SAAPs and NGOs as possible, and get us to realise how desirable it is to spend our time enriching an endless stream of well paid 22 year old university trained lifestyle experts who will convince us how good it is to live in our matchbox 200 miles out of Ivanhoe, and pay 90% of our incomes for the privlege. While some of us only woke up to this yesterday,so to speak, Jef Gambin and Just Enough Faith were acutely aware of this 16 years ago- they looked between the cracks, noticed how people fell through them, and did something about it.They put in place the Jefs Corner Foodvan which has delivered consistently on quality, selection and quantity every day for 16 years-and NEVER RUN OUT!!! Jef Gambin and his team are particularly attuned to the nuances of homelessness issues and his background stood him in good stead to finesse quality services from limited resources. They actually started their journey at a remarkable point- they went right out and asked the homeless directly,even sleeping rough for a while. And we say that the research that was done achieved more at less cost than any ACOSS/NCOSS member has ever delivered. in fact, so embarassingly cost effective that The Jefs Corner Foodvan forced the poverty industry recipients of millions in government largesse to raise the abysmal standards of their food- and the number of current Jefs Corner patrons who as paying residents of Salvos Foster House, and the Matthew Talbot Hostel(which Vinnies spent millions downsizing a few years ago) eat daily at JEFS is testiment of their current lack of food quality. Why would people who are paying for meals and accommodation eat at a foodvan??? The answer to this vexing question is surely worthy of another multimillion dollar research project. DarwinHomeless report that ACOSS chair and ex NT Chief Minister Claire Martin had Territorians spellbound with her attack on the speed of Federal government response to marginalisation issues. The truck which Ms Martin used to deliver Homeless Aborginal and Marginalisation services as chief minister was widely reputed to have only one gear- reverse.
Back to the foodvan. Although Exodus have at mostly managed to keep the foodvan service going and we
MONDAY 6TH JULY and we have to say that across the spectrum of diners at the foodvan,that food quality has gone from consistently good a month ago to consistently bad. Recognising that Exodus have budgetary constraints with the NSW Labor government which got them into this mess (as part of its illegal attack on Just Enough Faith) leaving them to hold a very irritable baby with a very dirty nappy and, in typical deadbeat dad syndrome, not paying a cent in maintenance; nevertheless, on their worse days JEFF would never have contemplated serving the appalling dish which was presented as dinner on Monday night. It was by far the worse I have ever seen and complained about by even the most meek and uncomplaining of people. Interestingly, some of those who joined in the complaints were also seen going back for seconds, and I’m not sure of the logic link I’m missing there,but I’m sure it exists. There were a very large crowd for a winter monday and as has happened before food ran out,however,we are not aware of anyone missing out completely.
We are now moving in conjunction with supporting parties to offer a parallel service to Exodus at least on some days.Exodus will still offer their main meals, and our ‘Team of the Day’ will offer its alternative mains also. Our aim is to evolve this to a full service. We are conscious of their cost structure and this will go some way to allaying this while offering Exodus an exit strategy should they wish to leave eventually. However, now that they are here, we are not in any way trying to get rid of them-just their cost structure; and moving to ensure Food quality meets at least the lowest bar set by JEF. This should start kicking in from next week, on some days still to be finalised. Emails are being sent to the appropriate parties today, look forward to some new services next week.
Sundays foodvan and a meat in sauce dish over rice met with broad approval from a generally well behaved and contented crowd. Salvos Oasis turned up again, dispensing coffees and internet services, with a twist. The cherubic geezer running the van actually was seen by several diners heavying kids to get their names and details- kids spoken to later revealed that he actually threatened to call police if they didn’t give him their details. Hey kids, you have to give no prick your details and you have every right to respond to threats in a way that preserves your security.These peoples first interest is to see that their organisation has your name to use for their funding purposes. Thats the main reason they want your details. We can assure you that all you get is the scraps off the table at which their millions are presented. The Foodvan services receive no government support and Sydney Homeless will not see kids who need to eat being harassed by DOCs or any of its spy agencies. DOCs have plenty of money but it seems few attractions for kids,as they stay away from DOCS services like they’re contaminated with anthrax. Kids, if you are approached by Oasis or any of these organisations,be aware that all details you give them can and will end up on DOCS database, and DOCS can use the information against your families.These program providers will promise to bring food around just to get your address so that they can come and spy for DOCS.Theyre well paid to do so. We suggest that DOCs set up its own honeytraps and give its agencies somewhere to go. This is actually in place at the YOTS foodvan but no kids actually go there,we’ve noticed.We know why.While the coffee is appreciated, using it as a pretext to force your services upon hungry kids will not be condoned. We are sure that kids who need Oasis know where they are and can select. And we are sure that Oasis help millions(well,write their names down to get funding anyway).
Saturdays foodvan saw the ever reliable Sai Baba vegetarian meal and delicious fruit salad supplemented by a meat dish from Exodus(thanks from us meatlovers). A largish saturday crowd well fed we thought.
Fridays foodvan saw a larger than normal gathering constrained in a smaller than normal space with our longtime homeless supporter, a lovely anonymous lady and group who turn up each Friday night to distribute the days remainders from it seems, a chain of bakeries.Cakes bread and savouries are regularly distributed by this totally dedicated group who have given up their friday nights for the past nine years to do this in their dedicated unassuming way. This is the style of operation we endorse 100 per cent, where our there is no middleman taking their percentage of donations. Guys and ladies of the marginalised community, its the least you can do to thank these people. It seems that there are scarcely any JEF volunteers left on fridays, less than any other night. The bread and fruit disappeared quickly with a few people stuffing bags long before the main van opened, while people in the queue missed out. We do not endorse greed and will act decisively if necessary to stop it. Sure, if theres sufficient left over when those in the queue have had the opportunity to take what they may want, fill your bags.But stuffing bags at the beginning of the night is not on, and we won’t wear it. Didn’t your mother teach you no manners??? Food quality?? There were widespread complaints about the cooking again tonight. A message to the chef, based on our own observations. We feel that generally there is too little attention to preparation, with potatoes cut in half unpeeled. This level of preparation is also evident with the fruit salads which sometimes appear, with huge slices of pineapple.These modernist food prep techniques may be lovely in Leichardt or acceptable in Auckland but they are Fucked at the Foodvan because many here simply can’t eat them. You really don’t anyone carted away choking in an ambulance,do you? There have been frustrating delays on other fronts surrounding stabilising the foodvan, with the administrator and his OLGR masters still whittling away, in their attempts to render facilities put there to benefit our community unservicable. He’s given away the pots and pans as well as most of the food supplies. We certainly don’t see them turning up here and suspect that they are being used by other government supported charities to make money for themselves.
Thursdays Jefs Corner foodvan saw a larger attendance than we have seen for the past week, just when everyone thought the problem was disappearing. A well turned out thursday crew were obstructed by the council protective barriers which are there to allow the pretty pebble surface to go off. Food lasted and vans seemed to leave quickly.
Wednsedays foodvan saw diners in the order of the low 200s fed a tasty chicken and rice dish which seemed to well outlast the queue. It may seem contradictory to our most recent reports, but we take this opportunity to congratulate,not castigate Exodus on maintaining the service.It really must be like holding someone elses baby with a very full nappy, and waiting desperately for mummy to return with the nappy bag! Really.Exodus contract ran out on Sunday so they are not funded for this,and we owe Bill Crews a thank you for sticking his hand up to keep going-he didn’t have to, and probably felt just a teeny bit unwanted to boot. in line with our identified needs we are progressively releasing this page in different languages for the many people who have trouble understanding English. Hunger doesn’t have any particular ehtnicity or religion, and can be a very compelling master.We don’t want to see anyone do something they may regret,just because they are hungry.On the subject of language our translation service operates via a nifty RSS Feed driven application which actually uploads translates and posts automatically. If its not updating please let us know. For techies it runs on the March version of ruby on rails and if you have familiarity with this software we can help with setup.
In place of Tuesdays foodvan report we went around at foodvan time to check why people weren’t turning up. We knew they were there,we knew they were hungry and broke, we just didn’t understand why they weren’t coming.And we got some very straight answers.It seems that we became somewhat indifferent to quality,it seems.Lots of the older guys ridicule our effusive praise, stating that they have NEVER been able to eat the food since Exodus took over. Many describe the possibility of getting an adequate meal as a lottery. There were been comparisons favourable to Matthew Talbots, which NEVER were a possiblity under JEF. Some tell of bin diving as the alternative to eating at the once trusted hot meal resource for the streets. We were shocked at these reactions…have we become complacently tolerating of the intolerable? This scenario as painted by our community is exactly what NSW Government wanted.. a replacement for the(for them) embarassingly high standards JEF rolled out in servicing our community. Embarassing because they wanted the same scungy minimalist standards meted out by Matthew Talbot and their ilk, and the continued disenfanchisement of our community which came with it. We know about the different syle of cooking, and the predisposition towards minimal chopping shown by Team Exodus. Its reflected in both the main meals and the fruit salads. Its not a fruit salad if you quarter the apples. If you can’t be bothered chopping it properly,just send it in as whole fruit-our community can at least take it away for later. We are not about to tolerate a slipping of standards of service, just because thats what government want.
Mondays foodvan report of sausages in the skin and sausages without the skin as the numbers of patrons are decidedly down on the usual and not at all in keeping with the numbers and need we know is out there.There will be no report Tuesday as we redeploy our people to check out the reasons for the low numbers by the simple device of going and asking.We find this much more accurate than the expensive and delayed methodology employed by government bodies who get their surrogate financial dependants to quantify the issues and solutions, so that organisations like NCOSS,ACOSS and their poverty industry constituents become more a part of the problem than a part of any solution.News from the pro-JEF camp that the Board of Just Enough Faith are finally in a position to make the administrator and his OLGR oligarchs squeal like stuck pigs-Look forward to JEF being back bigger bolder and brighter than ever as the sun sets on the miseryguts opportunism of Team Oliver and their OLGR cohorts.If these people attend at the foodvan their presence and role in the attempted hijacking of our main service provider will be made public to all patrons.cya wednesday @ the foodvan.
Sundays foodvan fare was quite nice with tail enders of a noticably smaller than usual crowd of diners receving noticably smaller portions.There is a noticable increase in dissatisfaction with the food style as compared with previous weeks.As this is the last day of Exodus contract, we again raise the question of the expense associated with the yellow monstrosity Exodus use as a platform. The vehicle has every possible accessory our beloved and beleagured volunteers will never use, is ergonomically questionable in design with volunteers forced to do calisthenics routines just to serve food, actually slows service and does not hold sufficient stocks of food. The loading system is we understand fraught with undesirable OHS related issues with staff forced to load over the top of an unreasonably high counter. And then theres the issue of risk associated with hot food spilling on partons from the dizzying heights servers are forced to serve from. A very expensive fitout no doubt, but why?
Saturday food preparation and services executed with the usual warmth and perfection which comes with the sense of genuine unconditional community commitment which is the way of Muslim community group Al Ghazzali. The leave no stone unturned approach to ensuring that their community services are well beyond reproach are an obvious result of their genuine hunger to offer par excellence in everything they do.
Fridays foodvan saw a few complaints as to food quality and quantity.These have been quietly building for the past three days and it would be remiss of us NOT to duly report these facts. The smallish numbers, and food still running low (apparently) is a concern.We have to say that while quality meals are still being served at the beginning of the night, of late it has quickly tapered off with only basics being generally available towards the latter half of the evening. While there may be reasons for this, our role is to ensure that food quality is maintained at the minimum acceptable levels which we have previously accepted. We have absolutely no intention of allowing anyone to quietly get away with an inferior service like government funded Matthew Talbot use as a bait to entrap people into becoming income generators in their SAAP programs. on the subject of Matthew Talbot, these are government funded services which discriminate against women and children. How can State or Federal Governments, and sponsors, justify financing an organisation which callously discriminates against these people on the basis of age and sex? Do they think that women and children simply don’t eat or get hungry? The only other place nominated by DOCs minister Linda Burney as being funded by her belligerent department is the Station which does not service adolescents either. Perhaps State government would rather that adolescents seek out the self employment opportunities available to them in the drugs and prostitution businesses? Clearly, the entire street at all age levels categorically rejects the invasive DOCs model as disenfranchising, disempowering and demeaning to all marginalised and providing opportunities and advancement only for greedy contracted service providers and their departmental cohorts.
Thursday saw the now usual services and an unusually small queue were very well serviced. We are noting a few more comments regarding slipping food quality not from the usual critics without comment.
Wednesday nights patron turnout would have maxxxed out at 150 tops as the usual efficient crew scythed professionally through the job at hand. There were a few comments as to the quality of the meal which I confess I was unable to make out. A lot of food in the bins. Look, at this delicate stage, I am not about to rubbish them for it. They certainly didn’t run out and were positively heaping plates at evenings end. Are we suddenly unseemingly defensive Exodus? End of the day we are here to do what is in the best interests of our Sydney Homeless community. And with Bill Crews apparently having directed that they stay on unfunded, until another service takes over its a costly call. I wonder if Exodus are struggling with finances spread thin at the tail end of their contract, due to end sunday? It appears certain that the OLGR are certain to shaft Bill Crews, Exodus are probably constrained from making statements, by way of a NDA of some kind. That does not mean that we are constrained in any way.
Another long Tuesday night for our volunteers with the main van finally leaving about 10 p.m. This is a long night on comparatively low numbers (wait til summer). Plentiful supply of food though with late comers being offered full plates still. Single menu item apparently, or if there were choices we didn’t see other dishes. Having commented on the low numbers, we need to emphasise that this is in terms of the yearly cycle. The numbers are big for winter. And many faces not seen for years are reappearing as the wheel of marginalisation takes all the resources upward to the bankers, and the problems downward to the street.Grapes and fruit salad( or rather sliced mangoes) were distributed along with the usual breads and muffins with Internet and Free coffee courtesy of the Salvos corporately sponsored unit, as we remember to ask who their sponsor is so we can give them a plug. Karen(Exodus) tell us that their deal with the administrator ends on Sunday and it looks like they are also past their use by date in terms of their usefulness to him and his NSW Labor Government cohorts. Word is that Chris Jones has been quiet as a mouse, furtively sneaking around showing people the JEF resources at Rozelle. Looks like he is a mere string on the fiddle of John Olivers orchestra, with a crtain person in the OLGR said to be keeping the NSW parliamentary Labor Party directly informed at ministerial level. We understand that some of the legislation under which the draconian OLGR measures may have been taken were enacted just two days prior to the appointment of the administration, and we are applying an electron microscope in an effort to understand whether parts of this legislation were drafted specifically to take Just Enough Faith out; and if so, what were the parliamentary committees told in relation to Just Enough Faith. At least one MPs office has commented in relation to “wrongdoing” by JEFF in relation to funding from Consolidated Press/Packer related interests, and we are concerned that this politically astute office may have been misled in the parliamentary committee process for this legislation, and voted for it on the basis of misinformation. We are confident that the Packer interests are sufficiently well oiled to be in a position to make an extremely well informed decision as to the legality, legitimacy and justification of their donor arrangements.The Packer interests make those evaluations every day, and at the time retained entire City Law Firms any of whom would have been very capable of addressing those issues, as would Mr Alexander and especially under the direction of Mr Packer Snr.
In any event it is clear that the NSW LABOR GOVERNMENT have already taken (From JEF Rozelle) and deployed extensive foodstocks elsewhere. That peepz, is stealing!!! And the other JEF resources may have been given away to service other communities. Thats not cricket, and may well be illegal. We regard it as stealing. But the NSW government wouldn’t know what that is. They take their authority to govern as a legacy of using smallpox infected blankets given out by churches to kill off the local aboriginal population in “this empty land.”
Monday nights delightful to observe JEF crew served a larger queue of happy patrons a lovely curried dish in plentiful quantities. We have not noticed recently, but keener observers have pointed out that te variety which Exodus had risen to has been missing on recent nights. We accept smack on hands for dereliction of duty, and thank those observers for making the point. Concern swells in relation to the continuity of services. Many state that any possible loss of foodvan services will mean that they simply don’t eat, or are forced to give up their expensive acommodation. One man, recently released from prison, tells that his probation officer insists that he stay in accommodation which costs $22 a fortnight less than his centrelink payments. Sounds like a sure recipe for sending him back to jail to us. The Probation officer must have topped their Honours Degree in Stupidity course and obviously attended a NSW Government institution. Concerns continue to mount among volunteers and patrons alike as to the continuity of the foodvan service. We hope to make a definitive announcement by Thursday.
The Sunday night foodvan service was another weather affected affair with a lower than usual-of-late turnout. Several older patrons reported varying degrees of illness and Sydney Homeless advocates were forced to ask a perplexed but nevertheless willingly obliging patron known to be housed to let one chronically ill guy stay a few nights until he recuperates- he had just been released from hospital. Left to the care of the increasingly arrogant and negligent State Labor Government, he may well have died. Food was a nice curry based dish, which ran low, even on low numbers.There were some criticisms notified to us of this dish and the quantity available, however, one of our people personally reports being “the last served for the first time” with no complaints of quality or quantity.
Saturday nights foodvan saw a smaller than normal crowd well catered to in inclement conditions. A nice chicken dish prepared and happy clients well fed. Look guys, if you want to take second plates, you have to wait till everyone who is at the van has eaten. Thats the idea of the service.Its there to cater to people who are hungry and prepared to come here to eat. If people want to sit back somewhere and take it easy, while someone else runs around getting food for them, sorry they aren’t hungry. The vans priority is to feed people who present at the van.If theres any left over after,great.If not, oh well…they don’t run out too often. And it doesn’t matter whose van it is, Jefs ,Exodus, Joes, Jacks, or Jesuses: same shit. And if there are little kids in the queue, they eat first, just good manners.
Fridays foodvan largely uneventful as ICHOSS people made an irregular but most welcome appearance. Delicious Smoked Bacon (yes real,not chemically smoked) based main dish. One abusive customer making threats to serving staff given short shrift by patrons. As should always happen. Guys, simple, they bring free food- don’t abuse them-didn’t yo mama teach yo ass no manners? If you choose to ignore manners here there are plenty of patrons more than willing to help you remember them. This is the first night since Exodus took over that no ex Jef volunteers were seen with the vans.The trusty Jef plugin with the ex Bakers Delight goodies appeared like clockwork and appears to have a large following who come specifically to stock up on goodies. Rained but we know why.Theres one guy who brings an umbrella only when it doesn’t rain and he left his umbrella today.Bring it every day bloke!!!
Thursdays foodvan report was actually posted at about 9:45 p.m. Thursday, but we have just found that it has been removed.We know we posted it.We checked. However, after our nightly walk around Sydney and meaningful chats with the various streeties at 2:30 am on Saturday morning as we sit down to write Friday nights report we find Thursdays post has disappeared!!!! Maybe gremlins, however, it did contain a message and criticism regarding police using foodvans as a part of their propoganda. Now we don’t go using police images as a backdrop for our homeless issues because we know that police are not a major identified resource among homeless people and our only identifiable common ground is that both species breathe air- we aren’t even sure that we occupy the same planet. We know Commissioner Scipione (Skippy One) is a regular reader of our blog, so cmon, Skippy One, we dont barge into your dining room and use you as a backdrop-don’t do it to us.Its offensive-not that your force give a danm about whom they offend. Thursdays foodvan attendance was actually the smallest I have ever seen.Many were seen scampering away unfed as soon as they saw police and media. The teeming rain also had lots to do with it. However, I have never seen people able to walk straight up and get food at 8-15 which I did. Meal was simple but nice.Our people left quickly,due to rain.
Wednesday at the Foodvan saw rain threatening as the customary smallish crowd for Wednesdays dined on some plain but acceptable dinner! Lovely mash. Minister Linda Burney’s response re; Foodvan is at http://noozgovthomelesssolution.blogspot.com/ . Its also at Our Response to Minister re Foodvan. In short, she has adopted the “if you feed rats,more will come” approach typical of the competence or lack thereof of that department. We are meeting with counsel today to instruct on proceedings in relation to what we believe is the governments illegal siezure and administration of JEF. Simple questions,starting with “where are the powers which allow the OLGR to sieze and place an administrator in JEF ? We have a very specific strategy in mind. If Exodus pack their bat and ball and do a proverbial runner, we will thank them for the short contribution they made. If they try to hand JEF over to what we perceive as the people who caused this fiasco,as we think they might, we have some surprises for them too. Anyway, whatever happens THERE WILL BE FOOD.HERE.AT JEFS CORNER. Oh! And thanks for the food tonight Karen/Exodus.
Tuesdays foodvan and we are pleased to report exemplary food again, our compliments to the chef.With patrons numbering some 300 odd, 10 o’clock finishes look like becoming a regular feature for the main van crew. Not ideal and we hope the old JEF system is back in operation soon. Much more efficient. Again accompanied by the Salvos internet van,which we always mean to send updates from,and for some reason,never do. Internet & Coffee much appreciated guys,and ladies of the Salvos. Its also remiss of us not to have mentioned it previously, but one of the unsung heroes of the Jefs Corner Evening Services is the Benjamin Andrew Footpath Library http://www.footpathlibrary.org/ . From Comics to Chaucer and Time Magazine to Tolstoy, these amazing people can and will get it? Not here today? Don’t worry,if its a book,its available and these veritable bookbusters will burrow,sometimes,it seems,into the very bowels of the earth to get it. Kids? Next Week? Korean? You bet they can.
Originated and commonly known as “the book lady”, in fact a highly organised and dedicated team offer an apparently casual and relaxed approach to remembering and fulfilling the specific requests covering a galaxy of interests and a million stars with each treated and remembered as a special individual. Thats a quality that everyone appreciates. And no one is better than anyone else- many newcomers, jaded by the inevitably downward view of the typical poverty industry worker remark “the book ladies treat us as equals!”- as if (and regrettably it is often) it were a totally alien experience. The “Book ladies Way” is also the JEF way, and no amount of government funding training or corporate largesse can buy that.It comes from the hearts of some very special people. And it has been very remiss of us not to give a “holla back” to the Benjamin Andrew Footpath Library previously. And as if they don’t have sufficient to do already, they actually double as JEF volunteers. Oh, and they are not only ladies, there are men involved too…as they smash the barriers.
Mondays foodvan report is brief. Reports of excellent tucker, all fed no problems. Our team on the ground was smaller than usual due to a marathon legal briefing, with a view to possible legal action in relation to the administration of Just Enough Faith which we are contemplating.See our article on main page.
Sundays Foodvan saw lighter numbers fed a delicious stew type meal by the late hour at which I arrived. Earlier courses were said to be delicious.Food was being served in fruit bowls and this was the subject of later complaints, which we answered with the we think reasonable suggestion that they simply ran out of dinner plates. We hope we were right. As discussed in our lead item today,we will strongly oppose ANY streamlining of services.
Our observation was that numbers are higher than the normal winter sunday attendance, as has been the general case for the last couple of weeks. At this time of year,when numbers traditionally decline, they are on the increase -a real worry. But Food and mood seemed good and the warm drinks provided by Salvos Internet service were well used too. We are shocked and dismissive of a single reporter who claims that Exodus staff feel threatened by the presence of one in particular of our operatives. However,that person is seriously considering not attending at the van in future, and if in fact this is true asks that Exodus staff accept his apologies- no threat implied or intended. You can now follow us on Twitter
Saturday Foodvan report; a delicious selection of dishes based on Sai Baba’s vegetarian, but served with meat was the main fare, and a largish number of patrons were well fed tonight. The physical foodvan configuration again demonstrated its limitations though with the last meals served at about a quarter to ten. We haven’t asked, but are sure that the old JEF foodvan is the much preferred operating platform for most volunteers. Yes, this system is still serving piping hot meals at 9:40, but with the simple JEF system we remember a much quicker throughput AND a larger selection being offered. A to die for fruit salad, trademark Sai Baba, was enjoyed by all who tried it and the vegetable salad was said to be delicious also.
Thursdays foodvan was again supported by that excellent new service, Clothes Line, a charity which sources and works in conjunction with other groups to redistribute new clothing and bedding to marginalised communities. Clothes Line are developing resources to enable the smooth and FREE transition of new clothes and other items from to marginalised communities, including ours. Food quality at the main van was said to be exceptional and well served by the adroit “JEFF Youth brigade” as several of our community have named the thursday group of volunteers. Thanks guys & ladies. A deputation from our group met with City Council reps yesterday to strart procedures which we hope will result in this corner being renamed JEFFs Corner. We will have a petition in support of this initiative online some time next week, as soon as we know that it covers all legal bases. Eat well.
The Daily Foodvan report takes a fresh approach from today. It is no longer a daily report concerned with the main meal as a priority, as we believe that Exodus have reasonably addressed most of the main meal issues. We now have good quality and the food lasted till 9-30 last night on big numbers.
The foodvan report will focus instead on the other aspects of the service which JEFF provided, and possibly some which they didn’t to make the foodvan better than ever- but we are not asking Exodus to do it all.
It will be nice,for instance, to have hot drinks every night at the foodvan.We already have The Friars and Salvos on their nights, so we just need another four nights.
We would also like to have people dropping their unwanted,reusable bedding camping and household items off (no, not lounge suites,unless they will take them home for you!!!
And we would like to see the foodvan become a labour exchange of sorts with people needing stuff done getting their workers at the foodvan.
We know some people who are trying to make this happen and are helping set up their communications in preparation to start providing services from 17-06-09,next Monday. We will post their contact details over the weekend.
Finally in response to those emailed questions, yes,we still support a JEFF run Foodvan and no,we are not gong soft on Exodus, just being fair-as we shift our focus to the Government department which siezed control of JEFF and gave it to Exodus, and its helpers.