Homelessness is everyone’s issue

ELIZA Adamthwaite (The Border Mail, October 27, 2012) may have helped this young man, and many others in our community who find themselves without a place to lay their heads, in more ways than she knows.

There is no simple solution to homelessness.

What is needed is a sense of urgency, a collective ownership of this issue and the fullest possible range of responses from individuals, communities and governments.

The solution starts with caring people like Eliza, who not only made the effort to practically assist this young bloke but who cared enough to share her experience.

When we talk about “homeless people” we often just hear about the numbers and the statistics, but once we actually come face to face with the reality of homelessness we see we are talking about individuals and families with stories, resilience and humanness.

This is not an issue that can simply be left for someone else to deal with.

Addressing homelessness is a measure of how we look after members of our own community.

There is much goodwill in our community towards people in need, as evidenced in the work of church groups and volunteer organisations such as Carevan.

Likewise, community organisations receiving government funding, such as YES, are continually innovating to stretch the scant resources more creatively and effectively.

As Eliza has attested, the homelessness situation in our community is gloomy but her obvious good intention and that of the majority in our community also brings hope.

The question for me is not so much “what would you have done”?, but what are WE going to do?


CEO, YES Youth and Family Services, Albury