Darran was my first interview for this project and I’m so glad he was. As a student trying to jump out of her comfort zone Darran was perfectly patient with me.
Just as I’d began our interview Melbourne decided to pour down with a five-minute shower and I panicked about the equipment being destroyed. Darran basically saved me, quickly whipping out his umbrella to keep everything safe.
Unfortunately, when we had to relocate for the interview somewhere under cover due to the rain there was a bar close by blaring pop songs that almost amusingly contrasts with the topics being discussed. Though the student film must go on! Give and take all the low budget mishaps that come along with it.
Darran has been homeless for two years now, living in Melbourne’s CBD in a tent donated to him. His family is aware of his situation but jokes that he has no idea what their opinions are on it.
He is well aware of the negative misconceptions that surround homelessness and states he has meet many who have ended up on the streets due to high rent prices and loss of employment far more than drug addiction and crime. He is grateful for the friendships he’s formed with others in his position.
Darran’s theory is 3 out of 100 people are nice to the homeless, and wants people to know that it isn’t hard to stop and ask, ‘are you okay?’ and it potentially will brighten someones entire day to go up to someone living on the streets and ask that question.
He is critical of how he believes councils are more concerned of what the tourists think of the homeless rather than the homeless’ wellbeing.
Darran is remaining optimistic as possible and is very grateful for the tent, clothes, and meals he receives from his top three favourites charities: From Us 2 U Melbourne, Anonymous X and St. Vincent De Paul.
From Us 2 U Melbourne: this was the only organisation mentioned by all my interviewees that I had never heard before I started this project and I’m so happy Darren told me about it to.
Started by local Epping resident, Deborah Henry distributing her own home-cooked meals to those in need twice a week in the CBD, along with a BBQ every second Sunday. Darran says this From Us 2 U has been the most helpful organisation and praises what a great, committed team of volunteers they are. This organisation doesn’t have its own website (yet hopefully!) but there is a facebook group set up which you can find here. Deborah takes donations directly into a bank account. Donations can be submitted by these details:
- Account Name: D. Henry & L. Hall
- BSB: 633-000
- Account number: 157297789
Here’s a link to an article written about Deborah and her great work: http://www.starweekly.com.au/news/from-us-2-you-melbourne-feeding-a-deep-need/
Anonymous X has been dedicated to making a positive since 2013, with what started as donations being held in a spare bedroom has extended to a warehouse in Port Melbourne. Darran says they’ve helped him out with clothes a lot since he lost everything two years ago. Read more about their work and where to donate here.
St. Vincent De Paul has been consistently mentioned and praised by everyone I’ve interviewed. It’s great when a well-known charity is also performing as well as it is known to the public! Darran says he relies on their nightly soup vans to not go hungry. Here’s the link to Vinnie’s website where you can read about their work and donate if you’d like to.