Shared from the 11/13/2019 Wentworth Courier eEdition

Walk in Josh Macey’s shoes

Support Wayside Chapel’s fundraising initiative

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Josh Macey will participate in Wayside Chapel’s Long Walk Home fundraising initiative on November 29.

Josh Macey has spent many nights walking for kilometres around the city looking for a place to sleep.

While most of us were tucked up warm in bed, he was walking from all the way from Kings Cross to Redfern and back — twice.

Homeless on and off since he was 18-years-old, Mr Macey’s rough sleeping was spurred by a heroin addiction which started shortly after his father died.

“It’s not just to find a safe place to sleep. Everything you do requires walking. Your phone is dying, you need to find a power point,” he said. “Then you’ve got toilets. There’s three toilets near the police station, then the next one’s up near Taylor Square on Oxford St.”

When he heard about Wayside Chapel’s Long Walk Home initiative, he begged them to let him join.

“Without Wayside, I probably wouldn’t be alive right now,” the 33-year-old said.

The Wayside fundraising initiative puts people in the shoes of people experiencing homelessness, walking 28km from Parramatta to Kings Cross on November 29.

Mr Macey credits Wayside with getting him through the ordeal of coming off heroin.

“It wasn’t a rehab, it wasn’t no medical centre. It was Wayside. And for that, I’ll always help Wayside any way I can,” he said.

“Wayside made me feel normal. They picked me up each day and put the pieces back together. It was like home when you can no longer go home.”

Like all the participants involved in the Long Walk Home, Mr Macey aims to raise $750 for homelessness services at Wayside.

He considers himself a parent of the streets.

“I get really defensive of people on the streets,” Mr Macey said. “I didn’t plan on caring about people. It just sort of happened.”

He discovered his purpose by accident, when a violent attack made him fearful of sleeping on the streets in his blanket. Soon, someone asked for a blanket and Mr Macey gave him his.

When someone else asked, he started collecting blankets to hand out at night.

“I was getting around at night, walking from here to Central with a big cricket bag full of blankets,” he said.

Mr Macey has a place now, but he still finds himself sleeping on the floor of his room without a blanket. But things are looking up and he soon hopes to start studying.

See this article in the e-Edition Here