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Walk a Mile in My Boots during Homelessness Week

6 August 2023

It’s time to end homelessness… and during Homelessness Week, 7-13 August, Hutt St Centre is encouraging people to register for its Walk a Mile in My Boots fundraiser.

On any given night in South Australia, more than 7,000 people are experiencing homelessness, increasing by more than 19 per cent since 2016.

This Homelessness Week, Hutt St Centre is inviting South Australians to step up and help end homelessness by registering to take part in the Walk a Mile in My Boots challenge, alongside ambassador Hayley Pearson and Hutt St Centre client Eugene, who have both painted a pair of symbolic boots.

Ms Pearson, whose brother Ryan was a Hutt St Centre client, has called her boots “A Crack in the Road”.

“Colour always makes me feel happy. I painted these boots to shine a colourful light on a very real and serious topic of homelessness in SA. Ironically, the paint started showing cracks — but it was perfect,” Ms Pearson said.

“Because just like in life, we all experience cracks in the road, and they often happen when we least expect them to. Homelessness can happen to anyone, even the most well-to-do, happy people can find themselves with a crack in the road leading them to need the support of Hutt St Centre. I think my boots represent that story.”

Eugene thanked Hutt St Centre for supporting him to keep his home when he was facing financial hardship. He has found a strong sense of community in the Centre’s Creative Hub, where he painted his boots.

“My boots celebrate the Daughters of Charity, who founded Hutt St Centre and care for people facing homelessness. I also want to recognise people like Bert Edwards who donated generously to Hutt St Centre – he was a voice for people who have no voice, and he’s an inspiration to me,” Eugene said.

“My boots are painted with redback spiders to represent the unseen dangers people face when they’re homeless. There are native flowers to represent the tough resilience it takes to endure homelessness and then, when the time is right, people can blossom like a flower to become who they are really meant to be.”

Hutt St Centre Chief Executive Chris Burns said there had never been a more urgent need to provide nourishing meals, laundry facilities, medical care, and hot showers to help people doing it tough in the community.

Since last winter, demand for critical services at Hutt St Centre has more than doubled, including:

  • the need for hot showers and bathroom facilities has increased by 149 per cent
  • the need for everyday essentials like bedding and warm clothing has increased by 102 per cent
  • the need for washing machines and clothes dryers has increased by 46 per cent
  • the need for social support and connection, including using Wellbeing Centre initiatives including Hutt St Centre’s Creative Hub have increased by 45 per cent.

“The funds raised through Walk a Mile in My Boots are crucial for ensuring people at risk of or experiencing homelessness can find the urgent support they need to not only survive the winter but change their circumstances for good,” Mr Burns said.

“Times are exceptionally tough at the moment, and we know that around 62 per cent of people are sleeping rough when they first seek help at Hutt St Centre. We’d like to change that by helping them to find a roof over their head and wrap some essential services around them, and making a difference to their lives.”

Since the last year’s Walk a Mile in My Boots challenge, the community’s support has enabled:

  • 33,308 visits from people seeking support
  • 37,252 nutritious meals
  • 11,618 everyday essentials like clothes, toiletries, and bedding
  • 10,375 hot showers
  • 2,415 loads of clean washing
  • 1,767 medical check-ups
  • 53 people to create connection through social activities
  • 636 people, like Eugene, to find their creative voice.

“Homelessness can often feel like an insurmountable issue,” Mr Burns said.

“But taking part in Walk a Mile in My Boots is one practical step South Australians can take to help end homelessness and show their support for people facing a long, cold winter on the streets.

“It’s not too late to register for Walk a Mile in My Boots, and every dollar raised will make a difference to the lives of many people doing it tough.”

To register for Walk a Mile in My Boots, visit or click here.

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