Homelessness is a hidden crisis, with 116427 people experiencing homelessness in Australia, and 32% of those living in NSW. We have thousands of rough sleepers every night in our communities because of Australia’s continued struggle with the availability of social housing. Our homeless population is undoubtedly one of the most vulnerable communities.
It’s a whole-community issue to support those who need our help most.
StarPM has always been driven to help out the community in ways that matter – by donating to the Starlight Foundation, Coptic Orphans and Australian Paramedic, we contributed to the causes that matter to us.
And we recently happened across a way to create a positive impact on lives directly.
St Merkorious Charity, a local charity based in Strathfield that works on the ground distributing emergency supplies for people in need in over 60 Sydney suburbs, wished to do more for the homeless that they help.
Part of the biggest issues that homeless people face when they try to reintegrate back into the system is the length of time they’ve been disengaged from society.
Often, especially for people experiencing chronic homelessness, there isn’t any recent employment history, experience, medical records, accreditations, referees, or even identification documents that employers usually look for. That’s without adding on the fact it’s difficult to attend interviews without money to buy appropriate clothes or even to shower and keep clean.
It’s hard to even step through the door, let alone take an interview, without these things.
This didn’t stop St Merkorious Charity from seeking help from the community anyway.
When they looked for help, they found Star PM.
“The charity wanted to see if we were interested in helping out by hiring people off the street and employing them to do work for us,” said Steven Khalil, owner of Star PM. “When we heard of this, we knew that this was a way that Star PM can step in and help stop the cycle of poverty that too many fall into. Sleeping rough is one of the most stressful things a person can experience. We understand just how crucial a job is to getting life back onto track, and that’s why we’ve hired two people straight off the streets and into our business.”
A part of it is corporate social responsibility and doing what you can. Another large part is wanting to give back to the community that has supported StarPM for so long.
These past few years have put a lot of stress on the economy. From bushfires straight into COVID-19, and from there, floods. Stepping up when people are most in need when you can is inspiring and humbling all at once, and if we can employ the homeless in South West Sydney, where we are based, then it’s all the better.
Star PM is honoured to have worked with St Merkorious Charity to make this program happen. We hope that more businesses hop in and try, and will think of our capacity to take in more employees in the future.
The two individuals who were hired by Star PM are doing well in their current roles. By being hired into a steady job with a predictable income, we hope to give them a strong stepping stone to regaining their lives back. Not only that, gaining some recent experience and training will help bulk up their resumes to make them attractive job prospects in the future.
Not that we wish for our newest employees to leave any time soon.
“There’s no better way to help out than find a way where everyone can win. By helping out, we train up and gain a trustworthy employee in return. That’s a win-win in my book.”