Marshall – A home with hope, healing and music
As part of The Salvation Army’s Darwin (NT) Red Shield Appeal launch, musician and songwriter Marshall – a talented Warlpiri Alyarrada man – recently played an original song he had written in prison, to help others. This Homelessness Week (1-7 August 2022) Marshall again shares to help others, talking about his journey, and the keys to stability he has achieved through the friendship, faith and music he enjoyed at The Salvation Army’s Sunrise Centre.
There were many challenging life circumstances and experiences that led to Marshall’s experiences of homelessness, incarceration and ongoing struggles with addiction.
After prison, Marshall was referred to The Salvation Army Sunrise Centre in Darwin for its alcohol and other drugs service . He graduated earlier this year and is now being supported by the Sunrise Centre’s homelessness arm to help him with staying on the right path.
Understanding homelessness is one of the keys to ending homelessness. Learn more at our National Homelessness Week page.
Adye Viney, a Salvation Army officer for 32 years, serves as chaplain at the Sunrise Centre. He offers community members accessing the service essential spiritual and emotional support.
“For some, the experience of homelessness is one of profound loss of hope and despair, so my role as a Salvation Army officer and chaplain is to provide practical and spiritual support to those who request it,” Adye explains.
“It is important homelessness services support people in their personal growth, whilst providing ongoing care and support, otherwise people exiting prison and residential rehab services [too often] end up back onto the streets.”
The importance of complementary homelessness services
The Salvation Army is the largest provider of homelessness services across Australia and in the 2020-21 financial year, provided 887,500 crisis beds to people who were experiencing homelessness.
The Sunrise Centre offers ease of access between the major arms of the service, as well as ongoing case management and referrals to other services, plus pastoral care.
“Homelessness is a traumatic experience and trauma takes a long time to recover from and needs a lot of support,” Adye explains.
“Music, art and spirituality can be a way of connecting with people, finding inner strength and resilience, and re-engaging with family, loved ones and the community."
Music and faith – keys in Marshall’s life
“As I got to know Marshall, I soon discovered that he has a love of, and talent for, music as a singer, guitarist and songwriter,” Adye shares.
“I too have a passion for playing the electric guitar. In the beginning we didn’t have an electric guitar at Sunrise, so I let him practice on mine until we were able to purchase one. I got together a couple of other Salvos to join in and soon we had a band.
“Marshall had also grown up knowing Jesus, and I learned that for him, writing and performing music, including music that reflects his faith, was an important part of his healing process.”
Empowered by music and hope
Marshall says that the support he has received through the Sunrise Centre has made a profound difference to his confidence and way of thinking.
“I was offered two locations to do rehab at the end of my time in prison and one of them was at the Sunrise Centre, so I was very happy to come and do the … program. It was helpful to me, to see things much more clearly in my life, in a way that I had never seen them before,” he shares.
“It has helped to change the way I live my life and the decisions I make.”
Performing for guests at the Darwin Red Shield Appeal breakfast was another confidence-booster for Marshall, who says: “I would like to thank Adye, and [local Salvos and musicians] Zane and Jayden for backing me up with the song I wrote and bringing that song to life. And, for organising the opportunity for me to perform it from my heart. It meant everything to me ...
“I first learnt to play guitar from my brother-in-law about 30 years ago at a church in … the Northern Territory. I have loved music ever since then … Music teaches me about how to live my life in the best way I can. Music is everything to me,” Marshall says.
He hopes that he can use his music and experiences to help others, saying: “There are some good people [who need help]. They’ve just lost the track. I know Salvos can bring them back … and maybe I can help with my music.
“[Sunrise] has been really, really good. I have got to know some great people who have supported me in my life … God needs more people like them.”
Ayde says that he is privileged to be part of the chaplaincy team and part of Marshall’s life and the lives of many others.
He says: “I am privileged to be in an appointment like this and am energised every day when I get up to come along and be part of a great team of staff here at Sunrise. I genuinely witness transformation in people’s lives in some form every day.”
There are keys to finding a secure home. Contact your local Salvos service so we can help you through the right doors.