With over 100,000 people classified as homeless in Australia something must be done.
Being exposed to many aspects of the homeless situation with my work for Operation Mobilise I’ve seen a lot.
Some of the stories I’ve been exposed to include:
- An elderly lady who was a former lecturer at a top Victorian University, had never used drugs however ended up sleeping in her car after a messy divorce.
Someone stole her car (with all her possessions including phone, wallet & passport) and then torched it, rendering her homeless and unable to get a place to live without her documents.
Due to her age and situation, she says it’s unlikely she’ll ever be able to get her own home.
- A young man who experienced the extreme heartache of losing multiple family members in a tragic incident.
After this event he never had a settled place to live and was forced to fend for himself from a young age.
His only living relative was an addict of the same drug he was trying to stay away from, so he couldn’t go back to live with him or he’d be trapped in the cycle.
He was on the street yet had big dreams to go to go back to school & finish his education so he could become a therapist and help those in similar situations.
- A young girl so young that she should still be in school, sleeping on the streets because it was safer than any of the other alternatives where she’d experienced unspeakable atrocities from people who were meant to care for her including family.
It was tough to hear that her only dream in life was to survive till the age of 18, yet she couldn’t even realistically see that happening.
The quintessential stereotype of the homeless being the old junkie men sitting on a park bench, smoking a cigarette and drinking out of a brown paper bag are incredibly wrong.
44% of those experiencing homelessness are women
40% of those experiencing homeless under the age of 25
No-one chooses homelessness, but it’s clear that homelessness can affect anyone.
These stories and many of the others I’ve heard are not caused by addiction or substance abuse as is often portrayed.
Many of the people who are homeless are there because of reasons out of their control.
Like us all, they would love to be inside with people who love them but whether it’s for their safety, sanity or purely to survive they don’t have that option.
Despite the grim facts, there is a ray of light.
We CAN make a difference.
Talking to those on the streets, often they just want to be reminded that people care & to feel like a person again.
I’ve talked to many people and they’ve discussed often ‘feeling like a lamppost’ as people just walk past and look at them with scorn.
We have the power as a community to make a difference in people’s lives
Let’s become a generation that empowers everyone around us.
A 5-minute conversation can truly make someone’s day.
“The greatest exercise we can do is lifting other people up”
Why would anyone subject themselves to running 21km?
It truly sounds like human torture…
However, sometimes in life we have to look at the bigger picture and for me, the opportunity to raise money and awareness about a cause that can no longer be overlooked is worth the pain.
On September 16th I am going to Sydney to run a 21km half-marathon.
I want to raise awareness about the daily experiences that so many people face and raise funds that we can give through the Mobilise movement to those who need it most.
It’s going to hurt, it’ll suck, and I really hope I’ll make it through this challenge.
(Might need a stretcher waiting on the side just in case)
My goal as I push through the pain barrier is to encourage others who have an interest to make a difference to join with me in pushing for change.
The Mobilise movement is a platform for all the youth, regardless of where you’re from to unite together to make a difference.
A voice for the voiceless.
If you’re interested in getting involved, please reach out!
Otherwise if you’d like to donate to those who need it most, I’ll leave the link below.
Your support truly means the world –
Those suffering are homeless & not hopeless…
We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.
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