The first seed of Sydney Homeless Connect was planted during a business trip to San Francisco in 2009. During this overseas trip, Andrew Everingham was invited to come along and volunteer a few hours with an organisation called Project Homeless Connect.
A few hours of volunteering turned into a full day of connecting with people who shared a similar background to Andrew. There was one man in particular, Matthew, whose story was nearly identical to Andrews, except he was on the receiving end. The two gentlemen were the same age, professionals, and had young growing families, but Matthews’s differences were a result of a few decisions that went bad and led him to too much drinking. Once Matthew was down this spiralling path his social network fell apart and he slipped through the cracks of society. Andrew asked him what he could do to help. Matthew replied, “Just help out people like me when you get back to your town”.
That powerful advice from Matthew, a mid-aged family man experiencing homelessness, stayed with Andrew and proved to have a lasting impact on his life and the Sydney community.
On his long flight back to Sydney, Andrew couldn’t stop thinking about his experience at Project Homeless Connect and the story of Matthew. Sometimes having a random, but powerful conversation with someone you may never see again has a way of opening your mind to something new.
When Andrew arrived back in Sydney he had mentally committed to give the concept of Sydney Homeless Connect a go, but he knew he would need help. He immediately reached out to Lord Mayor Clover Moore who was happy to assist and support the concept. The Lord Mayor connected Andrew to the City of Sydney Homelessness Unit where the second seed was planted. Sydney Homeless Connect (SHC) had support and a start!
At the same time, Andrew reached out to his employer and presented the SHC concept to the corporate responsibility committee and asked if this concept could be a “focus project” for the company. With or without their support, Andrew was already committed and the committee appreciated his ambition and passion for the project. They agreed to support Sydney Homeless Connect.
Peter Durie approached Andrew after that initial pitch presentation and said, “If you’re crazy enough to put this on, then I’ll be crazy enough and back you up”. That was the third seed to launching Sydney Homeless Connect. From that point on, Andrew and Peter never looked back- they were 100% committed and in it together.
As Co-founders, Andrew and Peter brought the Homeless Connect concept to fruition and attracted amazingly committed, ambitious and passionate people along the way to form the Core Team of Sydney Homeless Connect.
Meet our core team!
Communications & Photography Manager
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