Gimme Shelter is a not-for-profit event run entirely by volunteers with just about everything we need donated - from the venue and sound system to printing, ads and, most importantly, the entertainment. Generous sponsorship from local businesses cover our minimal costs which means that every single cent raised from ticket sales goes directly to feed and nurture the homeless through our local refuge St Patrick's Community Support Centre.
St Pat's is open 365 days of the year providing low cost meals every day of the year to people who have little or no income. It also offers crisis and short-term accommodation and delivers a food purchase programme. There is also a Hands on Health service which operates four days a week and offers a range of holistic health services to individuals that may otherwise may be unable to access them. A thriving music group, outdoor activities and music and literature programmes are amongst the other essential services offered. All of these services rely largely on community donations and the tireless work of volunteer staff. There is also a woman's crisis refuge, St Joseph's.
We have run Gimme Shelter for two years now (2010 is the third event) and so far have raised just under $90,000 for St Pat's. We deliberately keep ticket prices low so as to not make the event unaffordable for those on lower incomes. We had 1,200 people come the first year and 2,200 last year when John Butler played.
While our primary beneficiary in Fremantle will always be St Pat's we are currently in the process of forming the Gimme Shelter Homeless Association. The objects of the Association are "to raise funds and community awareness to support non-profit organisations, services and programs that have the primary objective of alleviating homelessness, assisting people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and raising awareness of mental health issues.” This Association (which is entirely not-for-profit) will give us the freedom to help in other ways that we identify and fund specific projects - and also, looking to the future, potentially means that we can take the Gimme Shelter concept to other towns.
The 2010 event will take place on Saturday 20th February from 5.30pm to 10.00pm on the south lawn of the Fremantle Arts Centre. We again have an amazing lineup of local talent: Ben Elton as MC, Kav (Eskimo Joe ) & Steve Parkin, Blue Shaddy, Matt Gresham and Moana Dreaming as well as a performance by the St Patrick's Starlight Hotel Choir (Reclink Partner) - which is the music group which meets weekly at St Pat's.