A strange thing happened to me a few days ago. A lady put a post on my face book page that just said “brrrr, it's 40 degrees here now.” Jokingly I said it was also 40 degrees in Australia in some parts, as that is the difference between Celsius and Fahrenheit. The lady responded with “yes, but I sleep in a tent because I am homeless”. Then I saw her name and recognized an online friend of some 10 to 12 years. I was devastated!
Not only did I feel ashamed but felt to immediately respond and apologise. In conversation her story unfolded. She has been homeless for some 4 years and while she is known to me and I can help by raising awareness it is a story that is manifesting in every western country where people are living on the streets. This lady is autistic, has chromic heart failure, rheumatoid arthritis, and a brain aneurism. Se is dangerously ill, alone, and desperate.
The number of people who are on the streets of our cities pleading for help are chiefly ignored by governments who think nothing of wasting a fortune on their own little perks. In Australia, for instance, the government has just thrown away 122 million on a postal vote for same-sex marriage. This was completely unnecessary as the parliament has to vote on it anyway and could have done in the first instance.
In the USA the government passed a bill allowing Trump to spend $ 10 billion on a wall that is racist, divisive, and completely unnecessary. The facts are that there are not many votes in helping the homeless. Their plight is best buried under the carpet and not heard. But what about the ones who are suffering?
Does anyone care? Yes, there is a huge response to the photo put up on face book of the above victim's living conditions. She sleeps under a plastic covering set up like a tent. Her personal things are strewn everywhere because she has no furniture or way of keeping them tidy. She can't even keep them out of the rain or snow.
In Australia we are heading into summer and very high temperatures. That makes it extremely hard for people to shop and keep food from spoiling. How can they even keep a bottle of milk without refrigeration? They have no electricity, beds, heating, and so forth. Those of us who have homes should look again at what it is we can do for the homeless. There is a lesson here for everyone.