There appears to be some speculation regarding who we are and our motives, which are as follows;

1) We are a loosely aligned part of the homeless community who attempt to communicate our views regarding the various issues which are regarded as problems within our homeless and marginalised community.We also try to help other marginalised people secure better access to resources, jobs and opportunities. We are unpaid and do not seek payment for this.

2) We also include among us some grateful ex patrons of the JEFF Foodvan service, with some having received other assistance from JEFF. As such we are fully supportive of all efforts to restore an independent JEFF run foodvan, and will continue to be so until there is compelling evidence that there was substantial wrongdoing by current the Board of Just Enough Faith. We are not adverse to new parties joining, but not dominating that organisation.We do not seek any role within any reconstituted JEFF, however many are prepared to assist on an individual, voluntary basis.

3) We are personally supportive of both Jeff and Alina Gambin in whatever the future may hold for them, and wish them all success in dealing effectively with the current issues before them. There remains overwhelming support from the street for them, and universal condemnation of the injustices being perpetrated ironically, in the name of justice.We support them without qualification, in part because they supported our community without reservation for so long. We believe that what has happened to them is a tragic indictment of the effect small minded number crunchers can have on people-who willingly give so much, expect so little. If this is the return on investment effective selfless visionaries can expect, it will act as a disincentive for others to follow in their footsteps. This will draw a huge sigh of relief from social service sections of state government and the poverty industry,with only the effective pockets of those cognizant of the overwhelming wrongs perpetrated against these good people.

We have received some feedback this past week reflecting differing views, as one would expect. Today we will deal with the objective criticisms, which we appreciate,in particular those coming from JEF-Exodus volunteers and some observers. We know the concerns expressed to be of the utmost sincerity, and respect these views.

1/ We believe the takeover of Just Enough Faith has no legal basis, and is illegal, because the responsible government officers or their administrator have NOT told the Board why JEFF has been placed under administration. We believe that this is a core requirement of any appointed administration of any entity.

2/ The main concern we have heard is that the foodvan service should continue uninterrupted. We agree. But we will not accept or tolerate a reversion to a “foodvan for the cameras” as Exodus first turned up with. Apples for apples. We continue to support a return of the services to Just Enough Faith Board control (providing they still have capability). We do not support a reconstituted board which gives control to any outside organisation. Our reasons are that Just Enough Faith successfully identified and developed the foodvan service filling a blatantly obvious unrequited need of Sydneys marginalised people. Just Enough Faith has faithfully delivered and expanded those services and would continue to do so today,were it not for the governments perhaps illegal intervention and, we think, Exodus Foundations support of that intervention. 

 3/The second concern communicated to us is that we have it all wrong regarding Exodus, and their role in the takeover of Just Enough Faith.To our knowledge this came as a complete surprise to Just Enough Faith. Exodus, who did not warn JEFF of the impending takeover, are therefore seen by us as government conspirators and contractors, and party to an illegal act of government.  We may have. We just don’t know-because the government department who engineered this, its director general, its minister and the administrator refuse all requests for information. Exodus also have not responded to requests for clarification, either by us or privately by our community. So we rely on a media release from the OLGR which says that Exodus have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the department to take over providing services.This MOUs terms have never been made public but means that Exodus are contracted government service providers. Exodus are also known to receive DoCs funding for other of their programs, meaning that they have a government dictated obligation to provide information services about some community members to DoCs. In our vernacular,thats spying. And collecting information for a department with an unfortunate reputation for destroying families and providing adolescents with pathways to drug addiction and prostitution based on the informed opinion of 23 year old university graduates was never part of the JEFF deal. We simply don’t know what deals Exodus have, or are in the process of doing without our knowledge to further the interests of government departments at our expense. 

 We also don’t know what funds Exodus plans to raise in the name of this service, and what proportion of those funds will directly benefit our community. We don’t, for example, view budgets for paid staff or high rentals for foodvans as benefitting us.

 We see Exodus Foundation as part of the Uniting Church, whose Wesley Mission subsidiary recently closed their dining facilities at Edward Eagar Lodge to non-residents. We prefer that Foodvan services remain free of religious or government control whatsoever. No surprises.No chicanery. We support JEFF on that basis.

 We note that The City of Sydneys working paper on foodvans specifies support for VOLUNTARY foodvans.Because the Exodus foodvan model is managed by paid staff, it may not retain the support of the city.

 (more soon….)

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