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Homeless people in our cities

WHY isn't there a charity set up to support the homeless in our cities> We all seem to be able to donate to "popular/well known" charities and yet dont think of the people who are sleeping in our parklands amd streets. Governments are always sending millions to foreign countries and yet spend nothing on our own people. Asylum seekers are housed, even in exspensive private hotels, why can't the same be done to ease the hardship that our own people are facing every day often through no fault of their own? Why has no government done something about this shameful situation. Winter will soon be here and things are going to be tougher. I wish I could organise a group to help, but unfortunately health issues prevent my involment. What do others feel about this situation. Reply

Last reply: 9th Feb 2012 / 28 replies / Post by CAT17

Replies

marika48

Posted by: marika48
Posted: 9th May 2011

marika48 says: While I feel for any body that has no home ,after saying that this is Australia and in most cases the homeless is their own choice as the welfare in Australia is quite adequate to find some where to live, how ever most do not want to do without their drink ,smokes and in some cases drugs. Reply

Rey

Posted by: Rey
Posted: 9th May 2011

marika48 says: While I feel for any body that has no home ,after saying that this is Australia and in most cases the homeless is their own choice as the welfare in Australia is quite adequate to find some where...

Rey says: This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Reply

CAT17

Posted by: CAT17
Posted: 10th May 2011

Rey says: This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules.

CAT17 says: Rey please read my reply and maybe you can have some compassion too. I wonder do you live in Aust. or in a rose tinted place! Reply

Becky

Posted by: Becky
Posted: 17th May 2011

CAT17 says: Rey please read my reply and maybe you can have some compassion too. I wonder do you live in Aust. or in a rose tinted place!

Becky says: I agree more can be done to reach out & i know plenty of youth groups & other groups who vist the homeless giving them blankets,sleeping bags & hot drinks etc. Alot of them chose to be out there as they cant cope with societies pressures,there is no one answer as we all have free choice as to what help we will accept. Some want a better place to live & some dont want to go anywhere as they will have to adjust their daily llives to fit in at that place. But we shld never stop caring or reaching out.Becky Reply

funnysag

Posted by: funnysag
Posted: 18th May 2011

Rey says: This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules.

funnysag says: The workforce is never going to accept most of these homeless people anyway.
I am a well-educated, intelligent, reliable person and 99% of jobs I go for I never get so I wonder how someone who has not had the routine normal people have, plus the comfort of a nice home around & a loving family & friends to support them going to get a job!!
Plus a lot of homeless people are mentally deficient due to a long history of neglect and abuse from others & self-inflicted so most of them may not have the same capacity that normal people have to maintain work & home successfully.
Reply

CAT17

Posted by: CAT17
Posted: 10th May 2011

marika48 says: While I feel for any body that has no home ,after saying that this is Australia and in most cases the homeless is their own choice as the welfare in Australia is quite adequate to find some where...

CAT17 says: Hi marika48 After reading your reply to me I am wondering where your opinion comes from. I think maybe you need to get out there in the streets and talk to these people. I know personally volunteers who are out every night with food just so these people have something to eat. I think you will find that a very big proportion of the homeless are there through no fault of their own. Please try to be compassionate. Reply

sherri

Posted by: sherri
Posted: 22nd Nov 2011

marika48 says: While I feel for any body that has no home ,after saying that this is Australia and in most cases the homeless is their own choice as the welfare in Australia is quite adequate to find some where...

sherri says: Sorry Marika - but you are incorrect on every point that you make. And so is Cat when she says that there is no-one helping the homeless.

Australia has one of the best welfare systems in the world....unfortunately we do not fund it very well...and there are more people needing services than the services can deal with - and so most miss out.

And speaking specifically about homelessness...BECAUSE we do have such a good welfare system, and a climate that makes it easier for people to sleep rough a lot of what has been going on for ages has been 'invisible' here. But the fact is that in every major city in Australia, we have been building less houses than is needed for the population, and this has meant that housing rental prices have risen so much that many could not afford it even if they could find something.

When I first started working in this area, homeless people were mostly single people, now is whole families. There are even employed people who are homeless. (and friends of mine are facing that possibiliy now - both are employed, their lease is about to run out, the house is to be sold, but there is nothing for then to rent)...and if these guys can't find anything, what about the unemployed, the sick, and the single parent?


Reply

sherri

Posted by: sherri
Posted: 22nd Nov 2011

marika48 says: While I feel for any body that has no home ,after saying that this is Australia and in most cases the homeless is their own choice as the welfare in Australia is quite adequate to find some where...

sherri says: Sorry Marika - but you are incorrect on every point that you make. And so is Cat when she says that there is no-one helping the homeless.

Australia has one of the best welfare systems in the world....unfortunately we do not fund it very well...and there are more people needing services than the services can deal with - and so most miss out.

And speaking specifically about homelessness...BECAUSE we do have such a good welfare system, and a climate that makes it easier for people to sleep rough a lot of what has been going on for ages has been 'invisible' here. But the fact is that in every major city in Australia, we have been building less houses than is needed for the population, and this has meant that housing rental prices have risen so much that many could not afford it even if they could find something.

When I first started working in this area, homeless people were mostly single people, now is whole families. There are even employed people who are homeless. (and friends of mine are facing that possibiliy now - both are employed, their lease is about to run out, the house is to be sold, but there is nothing for then to rent)...and if these guys can't find anything, what about the unemployed, the sick, and the single parent?


Reply

nadinz

Posted by: nadinz
Posted: 15th Dec 2011

marika48 says: While I feel for any body that has no home ,after saying that this is Australia and in most cases the homeless is their own choice as the welfare in Australia is quite adequate to find some where...

nadinz says: This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Reply

sherri

Posted by: sherri
Posted: 15th Dec 2011

nadinz says: This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules.

sherri says: So tell me Nadiz ... where do you get your facts?

That is not what the ABS would say, OR peak bodies such as Shelter ( Shelter is a peak body - an organisation representing housing organisations - INCLUDING the private sector)

And that is not what organisations working with the homeless says either.

The fact is THERE IS NOT ENOUGH HOUSING FOR THE POPULATION! - full stop. - Right across the board! - THIS is the primary cause of homelessness - and of course when you have a situation where there is not enough of something, then there will be some groups and individuals who are at more of a disadvantage than others.

And in more than a decade of working in the housing area, - I met ONE person who did not want to be housed. This lady had a serious mental health issue, - and would have been extremely unlikely to have been housed even if she had wished to be.

I understand Nadiz that poverty might look different in Australia or NZ than in your country of origin - but you really can't compare the absolute poverty seen in places like Ethiopia with homelessness in Australia/NZ - different issues, and different reasons behind it.

And people who try to make that comparison usually do so as a justification for a nasty, bigoted comment that has no basis in fact. Reply

Ronni

Posted by: Ronni
Posted: 14th May 2011

Ronni says: We have a Mens' shelter in my City (NZ) - and apparently there are men there from all walks of life - for one reason or another they need a hand up - going thru a bad time and need some support to get through it .
We never know what life is going to throw at us - whether by circumstances of our making or by the making of others. Lets think about how it must feel to be in that situation.
Reply

CAT17

Posted by: CAT17
Posted: 15th May 2011

CAT17 says: Ronni you are an understanding person. Yes there are some who choose to be "homeless" because they just cope out. But then there are so many who have hit hard times for all sorts of reasons. Families are living in tents because they cant find anywhere to live and cant afford the rent. Seems so absolutley wrong to me that we house, pay, feed and supply entertainment "gadgets" to illegal boat people - allow them to complain, burn down their accommodation, cause riots and then get to stay here while our own needy get nothing. Politicians should go spend a night or two on the streets of our cities and then they might understand that CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME! Reply

cassie1

Posted by: cassie1
Posted: 15th May 2011

cassie1 says: Yes I agree somone might say they should be able to assess service to stop being homeless and yes we do have choices but we don't know their situation so it is hard for us to comment, yes it could be a heath issue or some other sort of mental problem that people feel they have no choice so we should help when we can and let them know help is available but that is a choice of the person themselves. sorry if you disagree with me, but this is my view. Reply

Inez6306

Posted by: Inez6306
Posted: 17th May 2011

Inez6306 says: I worked for a volunteer group in a mid-size town. One pushbike-riding homeless person was not sure if the winter would be too rough. For years he had been riding about, collecting bottles for deposit. He bought a small caravan in place for cash. (BTW, he was NEVER on the dole). After a month living in the 'house' he told my friend to sell it for him. He hated the feeling of walls! I think that many of the homeless become accustomed to the freedom on the streets, and have difficulty even being indoors at a shelter. That being said, we should have room to house them overnight at the very least! Reply

funnysag

Posted by: funnysag
Posted: 18th May 2011

funnysag says: Some of the replies are so naive in this thread. Not everyone who ends up homeless chooses to. I have met children who were homeless as they were thrown out from alcoholic/drug affected parents. Also some other people end up homeless due to mental health issues and others have had hit hard times and lost there homes and money. Some do choose to live on the streets as they do not have the capacity to run there lives with the level of function required to maintain a home. It is a mixed bag out there but these people are societies issue and the issue does not go away if we ignore it. The only way to tackle this homelessness is to do what most charities and volunteers do every day is to give something to someone who is worse off, because one day it may be you or someone you know. We can give money, time, service, food or a smile or a kind word. I wish people in general were just nicer to each other and homeless or otherwise just treat each other with kindness. Life can be hard if you have no support and even though our government gives financial assistance to people to live on and there are food charities providing food to help, there is not enough housing that these people could afford so the situation is bleak. Plus managing life with rent, gas, phone electricity etc is expensive & a lot of homeless people may be overwhelmed with all of the bills and end back on the street if they do not pay.
What we need is more community houses where these people could sleep in a safe warm environment and be fed and looked after.
I know a prominent business man has set up a centre for homeless people with the support of many large business that picks people up off the street and takes them in for dental treatment. This is just one of the good stories that you here of from time to time as rich or poor we are all God's children and until you heard the story of someone and taken the time to listen you will never know what it like to walk in there shoes. So be gentle with the earth and be kind to your fellow man/woman (especially the one's in real need) and you will always be blessed. Reply

carra989

Posted by: carra989
Posted: 21st May 2011

carra989 says: Quite honestly I am disguisted at some of the replies. We are all human beings regadless and should be treated as such, wishes respected stc. How many of you have experienced homelessness? regardless of choice or circumstance. The feelings of not belonging, feeling less than, losing expectations and self, losing self respect in most cases, feeling invisible. How easy is it to say, go get a job, Im a big believer in the old daying, dont give me the fish, give me the rod. Its amazing how much sense of self is created Jobs are hard enough to come by as it is, well educated, trained people can have a hard time. Imagine for a second waking up on the streets, no food, no clean clothes, toothpaste, soap, how would that make you feel, then your expected to go to a job, perofrm tasks, only to return to nothing, hope soon fades for you quickly. Homelessness isnt about what some may think its about, its so much more complex. Experience that long enough and you either have to accept that way of life or die inside. For some that choose it, Ive seen soon discover it like drugs, great escape at the start, but before you know its consumed you and is hard to escape. Charity is fine in most people views, imagine if the only time you ate was when someone else said you could, imagine the only time you had shelter is when someone else said you would, no control over your life, you accept it or try and change it but the feelings of helplessness have left there mark. Why dont we do more, grat question, perhaps its so complicated that its aimed in the wrong direction, providing is not the answer but without provisions it it unable to begin the process of self self, the more I type the more I can see its complications, or maybe thats the problem, its to complicated to readicate for those that want change. Homelessness isnt just the removal of a person from a premises but the removal or a person from a society Reply

JustSmile

Posted by: JustSmile
Posted: 27th Jun 2011

JustSmile says: A while ago I was thinking alot like you are, I felt there needed to be something in place for the homless what I found is that if you contact your local MP he/she can discuss with you the things that are already in place. I know that for some reason the things already in place are not advertised as much as they should be. but from what i know there is an organizeation that finds homless people places to stay, they get clothing food and other such help...talk to your local MP thats all I can suggest Reply

mummybear

Posted by: mummybear
Posted: 2nd Jul 2011

mummybear says: My experience has been that some of the homeless people do not need to be homeless because they have money enough to afford to buy their own homes. It is a choice that they make. Yes there are genuine ones that need a home, but again they make that choice. There are I agree few that are in that situation not by choice but by circumstance. The govt should do more to help with putting them up in halfway houses or some sort of accommodation like they have in america albeit only for the night and first in first served but a roof over their heads. The govt collects enough tax dont they????to afford at least one building in each city...or maybe put it out there, some rich person may put up some cash to start with a plan. Reply

mummybear

Posted by: mummybear
Posted: 2nd Jul 2011

mummybear says: My experience has been that some of the homeless people do not need to be homeless because they have money enough to afford to buy their own homes. It is a choice that they make. Yes there are genuine ones that need a home, but again they make that choice. There are I agree few that are in that situation not by choice but by circumstance. The govt should do more to help with putting them up in halfway houses or some sort of accommodation like they have in america albeit only for the night and first in first served but a roof over their heads. The govt collects enough tax dont they????to afford at least one building in each city...or maybe put it out there, some rich person may put up some cash to start with a plan. Reply

leurina

Posted by: leurina
Posted: 14th Jul 2011

leurina says: many people who live on the streets either have mental illness or are runaways who have never had a job and dont know any other way to live and yes some are there because of drugs but others due to lack of accommodation for those with mental problems available in australia and there are many charities that work to help the homeless, salvation army anglicare, city central mission, ywam and uniting wesley all have missions here in australia, there are also many people here in australia who live out of their cars as they have not been able to keep up with rising interest rates and have lost their homes and incidentally you can not get government assistance without having a permanent address Reply

Red

Posted by: Red
Posted: 14th Sep 2011

Red says: Because no one wants to face up to the problem - out of sight - out of mind. We know the problem is not going to go away yet so many people wish it would. Let us all force Government to take a long hard look at our own backyard before handing out any more money. Reply

havalaugh

Posted by: havalaugh
Posted: 19th Oct 2011

havalaugh says: I had my teeth fixed today & my son has his appointment made for his government funded dentist appointments. Just because we both have a chronic illness & are covered by a health care card. Maybe someone should start a make over practice for the homeless & poor so those who wanted to pick up their act could all get groomed to give them the confidence like this did for me today to get back out into the world...by goodness if you made it a reality show I am sure someone would come up with the money. But the govenment should be a part of this.....It is amazing how it makes you feel :} Reply

pietam6

Posted by: pietam6
Posted: 4th Nov 2011

pietam6 says: There is a vendor for the 'Big Issue' in Brisbane who has experienced homelessness, and is committed to improving their lot. He has organised public barbeques where the admission is personal hygiene products, set up a registry of places where the homeless have access to meals, overnight accomadation, showers, a change of clothes, health and dental services etc. He is truly a wonderful man, and it is an honour to know him. The statistics say...most people after losing their jobs are 6 to 8 weeks away from becoming homeless. That's frightening! It could very well happen to anyone! Reply

Chicken

Posted by: Chicken
Posted: 8th Nov 2011

pietam6 says: There is a vendor for the 'Big Issue' in Brisbane who has experienced homelessness, and is committed to improving their lot. He has organised public barbeques where the admission is personal...

Chicken says: The earler comments in this discussion I could hardly believe, saying that the homeless were like tlike that by choice and because of the drugs and alcohol they use. Get real, how many of you have the money for a bottle of wine after your evening meal. How many homeless go out for an evening meal? Maybe to the local mission! Do you go around with your eyes shut? Haven't you seen them picking up half smoked cigarets, they can't afford the real thing. I could not believe it when I saw the comment that some of the homeless have enough to buy themselves a house. Even if they had started by choosing that lifestyle, if somehow they ever got that sort of money they would either change their lifestyle or give it to some sort of homeleless charity.
Going back to the original discussion, here in NZ we have a lot of child poverty which is getting worse rappidlly and will eventually lead to more homeless. We do have different organisations supporting both the homeless and those in povrerty but really they get minimal help from the govrnment. As for who I share my funds with this is it! Reply

PGS

Posted by: PGS
Posted: 21st Nov 2011

Chicken says: The earler comments in this discussion I could hardly believe, saying that the homeless were like tlike that by choice and because of the drugs and alcohol they use. Get real, how many of you have...

PGS says: Sorry, Chicken - some are by choice. Kids that leave home citing 'irreconcilable differences' because they didn't want to clean thier room, do their homework or wash the dishes. On top of that, Centrelink (read: we, the lovely taxpayers) give them more than enough to live on for doing it.

Cat17, if you look around the world at the supposed 1st world countries, they all do the same - millions get sent OS to corrupt gov'ts that has no chance at all of getting to the intended, whilst ignoring what happens in their own countries. Most charities are over funded - which is why their CEOs get such big pays & bonuses. The ones in AU have more than enough to cover the 'homeless'.

There are some people you cannot help - no matter what you do for them Reply

CAT17

Posted by: CAT17
Posted: 19th Dec 2011

CAT17 says: Here it is the Season to be happy and to spread joy,goodwill and peace! Yet here is another year gone by with still so many that have nothing and if it wasn't for the Charities that supply Christmas dinner and gifts these lonely people would have a miserable time. I pray every year that things will improve in this country and there will be no homeless, lonely, sick people. This used to be the ,lucky country, but I seriously question that statement nowadays. As much as I don't want anyone to suffer, why is it that asylum seekers get housing pretty quickly, get allowances etc.(more than the pension) without having to contribute to our country. Why can't they work when they are released into the community. I read that there are many of these people who have been "living off" us for years and still have done nothing to contribute. Why is it that our government and some Greens pollies go out of their way to do everything for these foreigners and yet nothing much for our own. The more illegal arrivals here just makes the supply of housing further and further away from Australians who are in need. I support and admire the volunteers who give of their time to take care of the vunerable and wish and pray that SOON government will look after us all. Reply

ko_ala_ann

Posted by: ko_ala_ann
Posted: 20th Dec 2011

ko_ala_ann says: My first time placing my views, so please bear with me if I have done it wrong . . .

This year I started knitting mittens and scarves with yarn I had on hand in Man, Lady, Child and Toddler sizes. I intend to give it to the local Group / Charity that runs a food van (twice a week I think) in the Caboolture area serving hot food to the Homeless at night. Because it was so close to the end of Winter I decided to just keep working at it with the yarn I have and then give the knitted items in time for next Winter.

I also am making a rug out of the yarn that isn't enough left to make mittens, etc. "Waste not, want not" was the way I was raised in the 50's / 60's, hence the rug. I listed a Wanted on Freecycle in my local area for leftover 8ply yarn without any luck. After almost 2 years on Sickness Allowance and several months now on Disability Pension, on my good days, I have the time to knit these projects.

I imagine not everyone living on the streets or in their cars are there by choice. A saying I remember from years back, "Charity begins at home" is why I am doing this to help my local Community.

During our Christmas Dinner with family, no matter how extravagent or meagre it might be, please take a moment to think of our local people in need. Reply

mel

Posted by: mel
Posted: 9th Feb 2012

mel says: I FEEL SORRY 4 HOMELESS PEOPLE BUT IT'S THERE CHOICE HOW THEY LIVE THERE LIFES ,YOU CANT BE HOMELESS IN NZ BECAUSE THERE IS BENEFITS YOU ARE IN TITLE 2 SO I DONT UNDERSTAND HOW YOU BECOME HOMELESS IN THIS COUNTRY... Reply

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