Monday, October 13, 2008

sleep out for homeless

On Saturday night my family and I participated in the sleep out for homelessness at Melba Park in Lilydale. The event was to raise awareness about the issue of homelessness. I took along a large cardboard box to represent those homeless people who sleep out in improvised shelters across Australia.

The statistics are telling and shameful for such an affluent country as ours. I thought it was important to raise awareness about homelessness and provided food for thought by detailing the statistics on my improvised shelter.

From the ABS: On census night 2006, 105,000 people were homeless

16% were sleeping out
45% stayed with friends or relatives temporarily
21% were in boarding houses
19% stayed in hostels, shelters and refuges

55% were single
20% were couples
26% were families with children

67% were over 18
21% were between 12 and 18 years old
12% were under 12

Me and Anita Burman from the Dandenong Ranges Emergency Relief Service (DRERS). Money raised from the sleep out event will go to DRERS and Anchor to provide emergency relief in the Yarra Ranges.

I thought the box was a great way to raise awareness and everyone at the event strolled over to have a read. As the night wore on, it got colder and colder and the box provided little protection against the cold and damp of night (and it was a relatively mild night).

Definition of homelessness
Absolute Homeless: living on the streets, in deserted buildings, improvised dwellings, in parks.
Relative Homeless: staying in boarding houses, using emergency accommodation or people with no secure accommodation staying temporarily with friends or relatives in private dwellings.
Marginally Housed: people living in caravan parks.

We can all do our bit to help the homeless in our community, whether it be buying an extra tin of food at the supermarket to donate, giving cash, donating blankets, volunteering time, every effort helps to assist our emergency relief agencies to help the homeless.

At this Tuesday’s Council meeting I will be moving a motion to use my ward fund to install a shower at Mission Impossible at the Tin Shed in Belgrave. In speaking with locally based emergency relief services there is a real need for a locally based public shower for the homeless. I hope my colleagues support my motion, it is a simple but pressing need for the most marginalised in our community.

Did you know:
$5 can provide a phone card
$10 can provide a MET ticket
$30 can provide asthma medication for a month
$50 can provide warm clothing
$100 can provide access to an essential health service
$200 can provide a family food for a week

The event was well worth it if in some small way it helps those who are most marginalised and disadvantaged in our community.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker