We arrive on site and our friends are already waiting for us. We open up the van. Two team members stand behind the kitchenette serving coffee, milo, cordial, and cuppa noodle. While the rest of us engage with our patrons. There are many young people tonight. People are in good spirits despite the rain. We spot some of our regulars. They tell us how they have been since we met last. One worries about another who recently lost a parent. Another has not heard about a third one for weeks. Another is undergoing surgery next week; he sounds relieved after longing for it to get done. A last one shares his joy for having a bed tonight.
Suddenly an argument arises between two persons. We notify them we will leave if they keep misbehaving or talking rudely. Other patrons are asking them to calm down. They are apologetic and shake hands. It all settles down and the atmosphere is pleasant again.
Every now and then someone comes to the van and orders a cup of coffee or some noodles. People are very chatty tonight. A couple of musicians, patrons and Rosies volunteers alike, are playing guitar and singing together. Another patron teaches a couple of students, part of the Rosies Student Engagement Program, to juggle. A lovely couple stop by and offer beautiful cupcakes they baked for our patrons. Everyone is relaxed despite the chilling temperature. Some come to us asking for sleeping bags and blankets. We are going through our stock of outreach supplies. It does not stop the fantastic vibe tonight and a dozen people including some Rosies red shirts initiate a touch footy game near the van.
It is getting late and the team needs to pack up. We call for a last cuppa. We keep chatting with the remaining patrons and then say goodbye until next time. It is a pleasant night.