Imagine a football game; the stadium filled with 105,237 people, once the match is over; each one of these individuals doesn’t have a home to go to. That’s how many homeless people there are in Australia; 105,237. They’re usually identified with statistics, but each of them has a name, a family, a story; someone’s daughter, someone’s son, a mother even. Joseph Stalin, the Russian dictator, once said “One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic”. In the case of the homeless, let’s not be so heartless. Let’s not allow the homeless to be a statistic.
Behind every face of a homeless person is a set of circumstances that lead to their tragic situation. Rebecca was 14 when she fled from home. She was only 12 when her abusive father left home and this had a disastrous effect on Rebecca, which then resulted to her getting involved with drugs. When Rebecca turned 13, her mother found a new partner. This man sexually abused Rebecca and abused her younger sisters as well as her mother. Keep in mind; she was only 13… the same age as a few of us in this room.
Rebecca is just seen as a statistic; a number; another homeless person. We hear these stories and feel sorry for these people, but then we just forget and move on with our lives. She joins the long list of faceless people who disappear into alleyways, abandoned buildings or the dark, cold corners of our parks; Just another statistic.
But not everyone see’s homeless people as statistics. One day Rebecca came across Dominic and Gerry. They listened to Rebecca and helped get her story out. They offered her friendship, they cared. “And out of this, came a new support group: it was even called Rebecca’s Community”
This is a real story; we need to recognize there are many others just like Rebecca. These are real people, not statistics. Fortunately, there are other people like Dominic and Gerry”.
My friend Emily, who I know through girl guides; Organized for our Guide unit to make ‘Care Bags’ specialized for homeless women. These bags were filled with things such as blankets, female necessities, canned food and a personalized card to each candidate.
This Week is actually the annual Homeless Persons Week in Parramatta. There are many lunches being held as well as blankets being given to the homeless. Homeless people are people too. Like Shakespeare himself wrote “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?” This is a wakeup call to reality; they deserve a ‘fair go’ like everyone else.
There are three types of lies in this world; lies, damned lies and Statistics. Statistics never tell us the full story; the human side of things. This requires a call to action. It can be from giving a homeless person an old blanket or jumper, to giving up your Saturday to help out at Meals on Wheels; Or just donating to doorknock appeals Homeless people are not faceless and we should not forget them... Everyone is someone.
Homeless people are people too.