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One paycheque away from homelessness

With special guest:

  • Rev Bill Crews AM

The Reverend Bill Crews is known to all levels of society simply as “Bill”. For the past 40 years he has worked with the people who have “fallen through the cracks” and in the process has been recognised as one of the National Trust’s 100 National Living Treasures as well as receiving many other major awards.

On Youth Homelessness Matters Day 15 April and National Youth Week 10-19 April many others in the community will turn their thoughts to the increasing numbers of youths who come into the category of being homeless. The ABS in fact has three categories of homelessness. Homelessness does not just mean sleeping rough; it could mean for example, “couch surfing”.

In his work at the coalface of helping homeless youth Bill has a different take from the ABS  because they do not see the invisible people, people whose births were never registered, people who are unwilling to approach agencies for assistance, people who have no-one. Consequently at the well-known Christmas lunch put on by the Exodus Foundation there are no checks on who arrives for a healthy nourishing meal on that special day. Everyone is welcome. As a result the Christmas lunches for lonely and needy people at Bill’s church in Ashfield Sydney have grown from 2 people to 11 the following year and now there are thousands.

Bill makes the point that becoming homeless could happen to any of us. Many in Sydney with families to support may only be one pay cheque away from joining the ranks of the homeless. The biggest cause is family breakdown which for the young people means no going back.

There are many stories from the street that could be told; there are characters aplenty to be found there but they do not have the solution. Bill has his own views on what should be done and lets us know. Coming from someone who works intimately with the poorest of the poor, someone who has raised over $70m for the Exodus Foundation and who has provided practical down to earth assistance such as the Life Education Centres this is valuable advice.

Bill Crews is an inspiration in our society and to hear his voice may change you just as he changed his own life all those years ago.

Rev Bill Crews

Bill Crews originally qualified as an Electrical Engineer and was involved in the development of integrated circuits. In 1971 he walked away from that career and began full-time work at the Wayside Chapel. In 1983 he studied theology before becoming a Minister in the Uniting Church and establishing the Exodus Foundation. He has been involved in numerous programs providing practical assistance to those who most need help. He reaches a wide audience through his popular Sunday evening radio show on 2GB in Sydney. Four times the number of people listen to him as there are Uniting Church members. Bill goes to the other side of the microphone for Dads on the Air this week in an inspiring and educational episode.

Song selection by our guest: Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson

Listen Now (MP3)

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