THE COMMUNITY FEAST
The Community Feast started in 2016 as a result of a series of conversations between friends at a local coffee shop. We wanted to know what it would look like if we did more for the homeless we passed by on our streets than the occasional handing out of change.
What if we knew their names and not just their needs? What if we knew their whole life stories and not just their current challenges?
We knew the place to make this happen was not on the streets, but at a table. We wanted to offer an environment where community would flourish – where the homeless would be treated not as clients but as neighbours, not as problems to be solved but as friends to be celebrated.
And so the Community Feast was born!
Every month we mobilise a team of volunteers from across the City and cook up a storm for up to 70 people. There is singing, laughter, (the occasional crying) piano playing, storytelling, listening and a lot of learning and re-learning how to create community amidst the chaos of life. As one guest commented:
When I’m here, I don’t feel like I’m homeless. They aren’t trying to tick boxes or change me – they are just happy we are here.
Last year we served over 800 meals and got to know 315 amazing homeless people . We celebrated their successes when some found work after years of unemployment. We journeyed with a couple having their first child while still homeless. We mourned the tragic death of a mentally ill friend. We threw two impromptu birthday parties for unsuspecting guests. We saw a man get the keys to his first flat after 15 years on the street.
But most of all, together, we got to know 315 names and 315 stories.