Let's Warm the Streets

As the days get shorter and colder during the winter months, life gets tougher for people living on the streets in Victoria. Imagine sleeping rough on cold nights without gloves, scarves, socks or beanies. Our Kitchen Table is calling all knitters and crocheters out there to make beanies and other items to help us ‘warm the streets’ this winter. This is a great way to express your love and compassion and provide comfort to people in real need. As we all know, a lovingly handmade item not only provides warmth, but it also shows that society still cares. It is a gesture that shows the recipient that they valued, despite the loneliness and desperation they may be experiencing.

On any given night there are approximately 1,100 people without a roof over their heads or sleeping in improvised dwellings (swags, tents) in Victoria. In each year approx. 8,600 Victorian will sleep rough at least once according to the DHHS. The causes of homelessness are complex and varied. Sometimes it’s a combination of things that have gone wrong in a person’s life that leads them to experience homelessness. For many people, it’s a result of mental or physical illness, addiction issues, relationship or family breakdown, or domestic/family violence (source - Vincent Care).

In past years Our Kitchen Table’s amazing volunteers have contributed more than 10,000 handmade items to help the disadvantaged. If 2020 showed us anything it was that people are suffering, and that as a society we should help in any small way we can. Therefore, we reach out to you, our generous and talented community, to help.

So what is needed? Beanies, beanies, beanies.

Men, women and children all prefer single colour handmade beanies made in 8ply or DK yarn. Most people prefer just a solid black colour. People living on the streets prefer not to stand out in funky colours for personal safety reasons. However, bright colours are still appropriate for young kids or babies. Acrylic is the best wool to use and is available in most discount stores. Knitters and crocheters of any skills level can make a woollen item, and it is a great project to start your creative journey with.

Join us as part of the 2021 Beanie Project and together we can help keep people experiencing homelessness warm this winter. The Beanie Project will run from June to September 2021. The handmade items you donate will be distributed via Kehilat Nitzan and The Father Bob Maguire food van directly people living rough on the streets in Melbourne. Donated items will also reach people in need through our association with Wombat Housing Support Services, Project Dignity Crisis Relief, St Kilda Mums and other local charities.

How to participate:

1. See the patterns and sizing suggestions on our website at https://www.ourkitchentable.org.au/current-projects

2. Buy acrylic wool in 8 ply or DK in appropriate colours. Usually one ball is sufficient for a beanie.

3. Drop off all finished items to 5a Chloris Crescent, Caulfield.

4. Leave them in a sealed plastic bag at the front door with your name, email and phone number.

We thank you in advance from the bottom of our hearts.

For further information, please contact Viv Golabek at viv@ourkitchentable.org.au