Welcome to this week’s editorial, October 10th is World Homeless Day. For many in the Eurobodalla that is just another announcement that passes by as if it were World Clean Water Day or World Fresh Food Day. The general response might be that it is nice that the Homeless have a Day to celebrate just like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Maybe someone might buy them a coffee or put a few more dollars in their tincup. The general response in the Eurobodalla is that Homelessness is somebody else’s problem. You see the homeless on TV, sometimes in the city depending on where you go but rarely if ever do you see them in the Eurobodalla. For many homelessness is something they can not fathom. Oddly some even suggest that it is a lifestyle choice. A life on the open road, drifting from one meal to another, choosing to sleep rough when there are dormitories available. But to those who are homeless it is far removed from being a lifestyle choice. Many on the streets are there because they have no home to return to. Home is a place of love, of caring, of respect, of safety; and for many the simple fact that they needed to leave because they were neither loved, cared for, respected or safe justified their leaving. Domestic violence is exactly that.. VIOLENT. For those who are able to flee they might do so with little notice and with few possessions. For many they take themselves and their children. There are those who require medical assistance in getting by. In coping with the day to day demands of life, in being able to meet expectations. For many it is simply too much and they escape the “shackles” by walking away into a life on the street that will hopefully impose less demands. And then there are those who are homeless simply because they can’t afford to have a home. A home is rent, electricity, water, food on the table, clothing. All at considerable cost that can be beyond the capacity of a single person to afford. If you look around the Eurobodalla, at first glance you might think we have no Homeless here. But we do. They are well hidden on couches of friends, in spare rooms of neighbours, in provided crisis accommodation via support agencies. They are the ones you see early each morning step out of their cars and stretch from an uncomfortable sleep, to move on before the rangers arrive. In the coming months and years we will see more Homeless. And they will be ours. The ones who can no longer afford rising rents, the ones who lost their homes to the banks, the families shattered by debt, the children no longer able to cope in homes that were once havens. So on World Homeless Day recognise that they walk among us and remain sight unseen, for now. But all to soon we shall see them on our roadsides as they “Go waltzing Mathilda”. And there, but for the grace of your God, goes I and thee. Until next—lei
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