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Consider the homeless

Watching Struggle Street recently on SBS reminded me that we have homeless here in the Highlands too. No, we don’t see them sleeping in Bong Bong Street or under our bridges, but they are there.

Fortunately we have several excellent agencies these people can turn to – St Vincent de Paul Society, The Salvation Army, and Dignity Ltd, to name a few. The homeless in this shire are more fortunate - if there are degrees of good fortune to be had in their situation - than those in say, Sydney.

You only need walk through the CBD to see them on so many corners, and of course, there are entire communities of homeless people in Kings Cross.

Many years ago, as an interior designer and living in a swish apartment in Potts Point, I was aware of my career designing beautiful homes whilst just down the street were those who had none.

Every Christmas I’d visit the local Catholic and very generous St Canice Church and soup kitchen and hand over a cheque to Father Sin (yes, that really was his name).

This didn’t stop homelessness, but it probably did fill a few bellies.

On another occasion I passed a $10 note to a beggar in Darlinghurst Street and popping into the local liquor store on the way home to purchase wine for dinner, bumped into the scallywag exiting with a six pack. “Thanks missus,” he smiled. Oh well, guess that filled his belly too.

So as we approach Christmas, the season of plenty, let us remember it is also the season of gifts and birth.

A small donation to any of the above mentioned organisations will make a lot of difference to someone doing it less well than you.

BEGGAR

I am the homeless, you do not see me.

I litter your street corners face down and hands up.

Today is Tuesday, it is my turn to beg on this patch.

The hours pass, my hidden face is tired though I’m only twenty.

Five o’clock, my coin bowl is half full.

I can go, though there is no home.

Alexandra Springett

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