[Hpn] After Christmas, homeless struggle on

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Wed, 26 Dec 2007 18:31:13 -0500


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http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=3D160144



After Christmas, homeless struggle on


By Jennifer Macey


Charities around the country hosted free Christmas lunches for thousands =
of needy, homeless and lonely Australians.=20


But when the functions came to an end, about 100,000 people across =
Australia faced the prospect of sleeping rough on Christmas night.=20

The Christmas holiday period can be a difficult time for people living =
on the streets.=20

About 80 homeless people turned up to the Wesley Mission headquarters in =
Sydney's CBD.=20

Ken Johnson was one of them.=20

""Look, the truth of the matter is this is one of the few days of the =
year where, I hate to say it, but even Christians tend to treat people =
like civilized human beings,"" he said.=20

A volunteer gives him some food ""to take home with you"".=20

""Thank you. I'll just work out the home bit later,"" Mr Johnson =
replies.=20

Volunteers served turkey, roast vegetables and Christmas pudding, and =
handed out presents.=20

Kathleen Stoddard has helped out for the past three Christmases, and =
brings her children along for the day.=20

""We help out in the kitchen, we serve dinners and generally just make =
everyone feel comfortable and welcome,"" she said.=20

""You feel so grateful to be able to help some of these people - yeah, I =
love it.""=20

After living on the streets for seven years, Fred Dwyer is now in a =
Housing Commission flat, but he still enjoys coming to the Wesley =
Mission Christmas lunch.=20

""The place where I used to live is now a crisis hostel,"" he said.=20

""You're only allowed to stay there for three months, and then you have =
to move on. So, yeah, that would be hard to get into now.""=20

About 100,000 people in Australia sleep rough each night, with many =
unable to get into crisis shelters.=20

Reverend Keith Garner is the CEO and superintendent of Wesley Mission.=20

""We turned away something like 800 people last year who turned to us in =
emergency need, because we couldn't help them,"" he said.=20

""We have a family centre in Carlingford, on the edge of Sydney. There =
we were turning away families.""=20

He says the demographic of the needy and homeless is changing.=20

""The thing that's happened is we now find that it's not usually your =
older man, single,"" he said.=20

""It's families, it's women, it's younger people, it's people that we =
were never geared up to be able to help.=20

""Unless we have the kind of crisis accommodation that can meet these =
people in their needs, the last thing you want to do is break a family =
up.""=20

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has pledged $150 million to cut the turn-away =
rate for crisis accommodation by half over the next five years.=20

But welfare agencies say that is only part of the solution. They are =
calling for better coordination of services like health, welfare, =
employment and housing.=20

Tony Keenan, the CEO of Hanover Welfare Services in Melbourne, says that =
means cooperation between the state and federal governments.=20

""Many of the people who experience homelessness also have complicating =
issues, such as mental health, drug and alcohol,"" he said.=20

""Those services are primarily funded by and delivered by state =
governments, yet they're key services that need to be taken into =
account, for example if you're trying to get people like that into =
employment, into housing.=20

""So it's those areas that really are more complicated but really =
require some settlement between the Commonwealth and the states if we're =
going to get effective outcomes.""=20

Back at Sydney's Wesley Mission, after Christmas lunch many people have =
to return to life on the streets.=20

Mr Johnson says he is on the list for more permanent housing, and hopes =
it will become available in the New Year. Until then, he has to sleep =
rough.=20

""Last night I slept beside the escalators of Myer in George Street. I =
just move around a little bit, but I just do the best I can,"" he said.=20




William Charles Tinker=20
New Hampshire Homeless=20
Founded 11-28-99
25 Granite Street=20
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 USA=20
Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights.=20
1-603-286-2492=20
http://www.missingkids.com=20
http://www.nationalhomeless.org=20
http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org=20
http://www.newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com 
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<P class=3DTitle_Big_News dir=3Dltr=20
style=3D"MARGIN-LEFT: 6px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 6px"><B><B><A=20
href=3D"http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=3D160144">http://w=
ww.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=3D160144</A></B></B></P>
<P class=3DTitle_Big_News dir=3Dltr=20
style=3D"MARGIN-LEFT: 6px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 6px"><B><B></B></B>&nbsp;</P>
<P class=3DTitle_Big_News dir=3Dltr=20
style=3D"MARGIN-LEFT: 6px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 6px"><B><B>After Christmas, =
homeless=20
struggle on</B></B></P>
<P class=3DTitle_Big_News dir=3Dltr=20
style=3D"MARGIN-LEFT: 6px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 6px"><B></A><BR><FONT =
color=3Dgray=20
size=3D1>By Jennifer Macey</FONT><BR></P>
<P class=3DTitle_Big_News dir=3Dltr style=3D"MARGIN-LEFT: 6px; =
MARGIN-RIGHT: 6px"=20
align=3Djustify><B><B><FONT color=3Dgray size=3D2>Charities around the =
country hosted=20
free Christmas lunches for thousands of needy, homeless and lonely =
Australians.=20
</FONT></FONT><FONT color=3D#336699></B><BR></FONT>
<P class=3DTitle_Big_News dir=3Dltr=20
style=3D"MARGIN-LEFT: 6px; LINE-HEIGHT: 120%; MARGIN-RIGHT: 6px" =
align=3Dleft><FONT=20
color=3D#000000>But when the functions came to an end, about 100,000 =
people across=20
Australia faced the prospect of sleeping rough on Christmas night. =
<BR><BR>The=20
Christmas holiday period can be a difficult time for people living on =
the=20
streets. <BR><BR>About 80 homeless people turned up to the Wesley =
Mission=20
headquarters in Sydney's CBD. <BR><BR>Ken Johnson was one of them.=20
<BR><BR>""Look, the truth of the matter is this is one of the few days =
of the=20
year where, I hate to say it, but even Christians tend to treat people =
like=20
civilized human beings,"" he said. <BR><BR>A volunteer gives him some =
food ""to=20
take home with you"". <BR><BR>""Thank you. I'll just work out the home =
bit=20
later,"" Mr Johnson replies. <BR><BR>Volunteers served turkey, roast =
vegetables=20
and Christmas pudding, and handed out presents. <BR><BR>Kathleen =
Stoddard has=20
helped out for the past three Christmases, and brings her children along =
for the=20
day. <BR><BR>""We help out in the kitchen, we serve dinners and =
generally just=20
make everyone feel comfortable and welcome,"" she said. <BR><BR>""You =
feel so=20
grateful to be able to help some of these people - yeah, I love it.""=20
<BR><BR>After living on the streets for seven years, Fred Dwyer is now =
in a=20
Housing Commission flat, but he still enjoys coming to the Wesley =
Mission=20
Christmas lunch. <BR><BR>""The place where I used to live is now a =
crisis=20
hostel,"" he said. <BR><BR>""You're only allowed to stay there for three =
months,=20
and then you have to move on. So, yeah, that would be hard to get into =
now.""=20
<BR><BR>About 100,000 people in Australia sleep rough each night, with =
many=20
unable to get into crisis shelters. <BR><BR>Reverend Keith Garner is the =
CEO and=20
superintendent of Wesley Mission. <BR><BR>""We turned away something =
like 800=20
people last year who turned to us in emergency need, because we couldn't =
help=20
them,"" he said. <BR><BR>""We have a family centre in Carlingford, on =
the edge=20
of Sydney. There we were turning away families."" <BR><BR>He says the=20
demographic of the needy and homeless is changing. <BR><BR>""The thing =
that's=20
happened is we now find that it's not usually your older man, single,"" =
he said.=20
<BR><BR>""It's families, it's women, it's younger people, it's people =
that we=20
were never geared up to be able to help. <BR><BR>""Unless we have the =
kind of=20
crisis accommodation that can meet these people in their needs, the last =
thing=20
you want to do is break a family up."" <BR><BR>Prime Minister Kevin Rudd =
has=20
pledged $150 million to cut the turn-away rate for crisis accommodation =
by half=20
over the next five years. <BR><BR>But welfare agencies say that is only =
part of=20
the solution. They are calling for better coordination of services like =
health,=20
welfare, employment and housing. <BR><BR>Tony Keenan, the CEO of Hanover =
Welfare=20
Services in Melbourne, says that means cooperation between the state and =
federal=20
governments. <BR><BR>""Many of the people who experience homelessness =
also have=20
complicating issues, such as mental health, drug and alcohol,"" he said. =

<BR><BR>""Those services are primarily funded by and delivered by state=20
governments, yet they're key services that need to be taken into =
account, for=20
example if you're trying to get people like that into employment, into =
housing.=20
<BR><BR>""So it's those areas that really are more complicated but =
really=20
require some settlement between the Commonwealth and the states if we're =
going=20
to get effective outcomes."" <BR><BR>Back at Sydney's Wesley Mission, =
after=20
Christmas lunch many people have to return to life on the streets. =
<BR><BR>Mr=20
Johnson says he is on the list for more permanent housing, and hopes it =
will=20
become available in the New Year. Until then, he has to sleep rough.=20
<BR><BR>""Last night I slept beside the escalators of Myer in George =
Street. I=20
just move around a little bit, but I just do the best I can,"" he said.=20
<BR><BR></B></FONT></P></B></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><BR>William Charles Tinker <BR>New =
Hampshire=20
Homeless <BR>Founded 11-28-99<BR>25 Granite Street <BR>Northfield,N.H.=20
03276-1640 USA <BR>Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human =
rights.=20
<BR>1-603-286-2492 <BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.missingkids.com">http://www.missingkids.com</A> =
<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.nationalhomeless.org">http://www.nationalhomeless.org<=
/A>=20
<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org">http://www.newhampshirehomel=
ess.org</A>=20
<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com">http://www.=
newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com</A>=20
</FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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