Today is Saskia Groen’s last regular Wednesday shift as a volunteer at Community Northern Beaches. We interviewed her about her role. Thank you for your huge contribution and for the mountains of kindness that you have shown to the guests of the Centre.
What motivated you to get involved?
I have teenage sons. Six or so years ago I was driving along South Dowling Street in the city when I was approached at the traffic lights by a teenage boy asking for money. He was clearly sleeping rough and dealing with addition. I looked into this sweet, open, gentle boys eyes and saw my own kids. It was a pretty defining moment for me. I suddenly became so much more alert and conscious of the plight of homelessness, ever increasing numbers of Sydney’s rough sleepers, and the under resourcing of mental health services, rehab/detox, and social housing. I started as a volunteer for Missionbeat and soon became an employee. They are a city based homeless service so as a Seaforth resident I decided last year to support my own community as well and started as a volunteer with the amazing Community Northern Beaches.