LYN'S STORY HOMELESS SUPPORT INC.
This year I set myself the goal of working with a charity to raise $10,000. I choose Homeless Support Inc founded and run by Lyn Cappella. Her mission is to help those in need live with dignity. Lyn is a Potts Point local, as is the charity, and I asked if I could interview her to share more of her story so I can connect this project to more of my friends.
I first met Lyn at a beauty shop in Potts Point. We were both getting our toes done and we started chatting. I always find myself chatting to people and so this was not strange, but very rarely does someone leave such lasting and memorable impact on me.
Lyn had a very difficult childhood that meant living in and out of institutional homes and on the streets from the age of fourteen. So it's fair to say she has first hand knowledge of homelessness and living on the streets.
At nineteen Lyn got pregnant from an abusive relationship, and since then she has been on a massive journey of self love, change and ultimately making a difference and helping others. Lyn has such a beautiful face and demeanour; it’s horrible to hear she had such a tough time.
In her fifties Lyn opened a beauty shop in Potts Point, and she was shared with me how she would always give food to the homeless or money or get them to help her bring things from the car to the shop. Some years later she sold her businesses and went on a huge journey to India, Italy and finally had an impacting moment at St Francis of Assisi Cathedral where she realised that her life was for helping others.
About three years ago Lyn started helping to feed the homeless in Martin Place, Sadly the charity that ran that initiative was shut down by the police. So Lyn decided to continue their work, and is locally known as the 'Chicken Lady'. Every Wednesday you will find Lyn and her helpers feeding the homeless in Martin Place, in the CBD of Sydney. There can be up to 60 homeless people grateful for a bite to eat. Woolworths donate $100 of food each week and T&R Gourmet Butcher donate the meat.
After the first six months of doing this, it was winter and it was so cold and the homeless weren’t been given the sleeping bags they kept on being promised by larger charities. Lyn saw that she could set up her own charity and get to those in need quicker. Homeless Support Inc is 100% not for profit and aims to help the worst afflicted.
There’s a great video below where you can see Lyn being interviewed by Channel 7 showing how food wastage is an epidemic, and how kind donations keeps the homeless fed. At the moment every week is a scramble to get the funds for the sleeping bags and chicken for the Homeless.
For Christmas Lyn made little hampers that she handed out to people including mini radios for people to listen too. Lyn is incredibly hands on and knows most of the homeless by name in Potts Points and Woolloomooloo. There are many other areas she hasn’t even had a chance to explore and provide some support.
What can we do I asked?
Firstly, remember that the homeless have pride, just like us. It can happen that you try and give some money or food to a homeless person and they tell you to get lost. Lyn says don’t worry, well done for trying and just because you are homeless you still have pride and taking from others is still uncomfortable for any person.
Why are there so many homeless?
I don't know if you have noticed there seems to be so many homeless people in Sydney and Australia? This is something we all witness everyday and as such a wealthy country it makes me uneasy there are so many people sleeping on the streets. There are many reasons people are homeless, many have come from domestic abuse or have a mental illness.
What issues are affecting the homeless?
Many homeless people are dealing with mental health issues. Many might have been the victim of domestic abuse, physical abuse or they get a mental illness after being on the streets due to their circumstances.
The drug Ice is also a big problem on the streets today. These drugs weren’t around 20 years ago and they are strong and dangerous and many of the homeless are taking these drugs.
What constitutes homelessness?
Yes the above is all true for the majority of homeless, but there are plenty of other examples of people being homeless. There are examples of people in family battles who are not allowed to live in their house, or someone's company going bust or a person leaving a relationship and sleeping on a friends sofa. There are so many ways anyone could be become homeless.
What about Homeless Support Inc?
Lyn sees there’s a need for a drop-in centre around Darlinghurst or Oxford Street where people can come in off the street and have a tea or a coffee in a safe place and get help with services. Often people just aren’t capable of filling out the forms to get off the streets.
Homeless Support Inc wants to help those in need live with dignity. Lyn wants to make a difference to the worst afflicted and the goal is to have a drop-in centre where people can get help with any documentation they want to apply for housing, get needed respite, supplies or a coffee tea and a shower. Lyn is looking to fund this through initiatives such as raffles and fundraising events before looking at more grants and endorsements in the future.
This is an example of a small charity in an exciting phase. Please see below a link to see Lyn on the news feeding the Homeless in Martin Place.
There are some exciting stories happening that Lyn shared, a man who was homeless for 29 years has finally been housed and he is loving it. They just need someone to help him with the gardening at the moment!
So why get involved?
Homeless Inc is a brand new little charity, it is really exciting and Lyn is passionate about helping people in need live with dignity, giving them the clothes then need and help to get the food or services they need.
Lyn wants to keep it small and see’s it can make a real impact. Feeding or talking to one person can save their life. You never know what people are dealing with in any given moment.
I have to say from the little experience I have in this field Lyn is an inspiring lady, definitely the finest chicken lady I have seen. Lyn is independent and on the ground feeding and giving out clothes and supplies directly to the Homeless.
Soon we will be selling tickets for raffle and if you are interested to learn more about Homeless Inc please follow the link below and you can donate through the site and it’s fully tax deductible. Thanks for reading, if you would like to hear more then please get in touch. I love to hear from you.
Video of Lyn on Channel 7:
You can read more about it and follow Lyn's journey on Facebook at:
Follow the website and make a donation here: