HE had been sitting near the van drinking his cup of hot Milo for some time -just observing, not particularly talking to anyone, just watching.
By his dress, it was obvious that he was not the traditional homeless ‘stereotype’. He was wearing what appeared to be a new pair of joggers, a ‘loud’ pair of board shorts and an even ‘louder’ Hawaiian shirt.
By the way he was wearing his clothes, you could tell he took a certain pride in his appearance -the matching socks evenly pulled up, the red cap sitting just so on his head.
I wondered why he was here. He looked like he could afford to be across the road in the cafe having a cup of hot chocolate there. Why Rosies?
I noticed that his drink was running low and went up and asked him if he wanted another. When I brought it back I took the opportunity to talk to him. I introduced myself and he introduced himself as Michael.
We bantered the usual small talk, how our day was, the weather, how we think the Brisbane Broncos are going to go in the footy this year. In talking to him, it dawned on me that Michael talked a little slower than most people.
As we continued talking it turned out that Michael had a steady job at a recycling centre and lived at home with his mum and dad. By most comparisons he was far from ‘homeless’, yet here he was at the Rosies van.
Curious, I asked him what brought him into the City tonight. He said that Friday night was his night out with his Rosies friends.
He then looked at his watch and said his farewells as he headed off for the last bus home.
I learnt a little more about Rosies that night. Our friends who come to the van come from all walks of life and are all at different stages in their journey. By welcoming all, just as Christ asked us to, we reflect God’s love to all.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
The Catholic Leader acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this country and especially acknowledge the traditional owners on whose lands we live and work throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.