Welcome to Week 6

For Week 6 of our 40 Stories in 40 Weeks our Haven; Home, Safe director of Communication and Marketing, Sue Masters, spoke with one of our homeless clients Brad Lynch. Brad was keen to share his personal story of homelessness.  A few extra things Brad shared before the camera started was that he grew up in Chewton, is illiterate and joined the Thai Military at 24. He was a volunteer cleaning up after the 2004 Tsunami, helping to remove the deceased.  Brad still has a positive outlook and is keen to return overseas to help more human causes.  He communicates with overseas contacts via the Bendigo Library, where staff assist him to use Skype. Read the transcript below or watch the video here.

Meet Brad Lynch

Sue: Hello and welcome to week 6 of our 40 stories in 40 weeks. I’m here today in our Bendigo office with one of our homeless clients Brad Lynch. Welcome Brad.

Brad: G’day how is it going?

Sue: I’m okay thanks and how are you?

Brad: I’m very well thanks.

Sue: Brad, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be homeless and how you became a client of our organisation.

Brad: Well I was taken off the disability pension. I didn’t get enough get shot enough of time serving straight away. Then, Haven has been helping me out ever since and it’s really good.

Sue: You’re homeless – tell us where you are sleeping at the moment Brad.

Brad: I sleep in old goldmines and stuff like that.

Sue: Sleeping in mines.. that can’t be comfortable.

Brad: For me, it’s okay because it only changes two degrees from the middle of summer until the middle of Winter it’s about two degrees. It’s above that is cold or hot.

Sue: And how long have you been doing that?

Brad: On and off for a while, for a few years actually.

Sue: How have we been able to help you during that time?

Brad: You’ve given me a lot of moral support and you’ve helped me with tucker and paperwork that I can’t do myself because I’m illiterate. You’ve been really good at helping me with paperwork and faxing things off to different departments. It’s been good a lot of help.

Sue: What are your hopes for the future, is it being rehoused?

Brad: I’m actually hoping to go back overseas to do what I do over there.

Sue: And what is the timeline for that?

Brad: July hopefully. The end of July.

Sue: You’ve met a lot of other clients as you’re here fairly regularly. How are they, what is their situation and what do you talk about together?

Brad: We talk about the situations that they’re in. The bulk of the clients have different problems and they’re in different situations and so we really just discuss what’s going on and moral support for each other.

Sue: And everyone has a story to tell.

Brad: Everyone has a different story to tell, because they’ve had different lives which has led to their current situations they are In now.

Sue: You’re 55 years of age Brad – did you ever imagine you would be homeless?

Brad: No, I never did think that at all. It’s just circumstances that have happened and then you end up in these situations, and a lot of people end up the same way in being homeless.

Sue: It’s tough.

Brad: Yeah

Sue: Any advice to people out there watching this video?

Brad: Keep a smile on your face and don’t give up. That’s the only thing I can say about that. Don’t let it get you down.

Sue: Good advice and thanks for your time Brad.