Topsy's Story

Let us introduce you to Topsy.

She is a Sydney girl, born and bred, but you’d almost never guess. She speaks with an acquired American accent, which is both endearing and effortlessly cool. Topsy has always loved the outdoors and the sense of freedom and adventure it brings. She now lives a quiet life in Brisbane, but for a large period of time, things couldn’t have been more different.
Topsy experienced nearly 30 years of homelessness and exclusion on the streets of San Francisco. During that time, she collected rich stories as well as many permanent tears.

“I’ve met homeless people who were dancers, teachers, nurses, even a bishop… Homelessness didn’t define any of these people, and I amassed some amazing experiences with many amazing individuals,’’ she said.
Topsy has experienced more than most – homelessness, domestic violence, poverty, drug use and illness. Yet she has a way of relaying her story with poise and candour, and describes in such vivid terms what it’s really like to spend close to three decades without a place to call home.

“In America, having been homeless myself for quite a number of years, you feel very alone… even though there’s a lot of people that know each other,” she said.
“It’s lonely days, lonely nights, it’s becoming very wary of people. There are times when you can hear a car door close or a front door close, and it can bring tears to your eyes.”
Topsy is one of our friends in Brisbane, who we’re able to provide an employment opportunity to through our Social Impact Washing program.

Watch the video below to hear more about Topsy’s story.