A heartbreaking account on Four Corners this evening about those who are homeless or struggling to survive in Australia today.
It followed an account on "PM" of about 40 'regulars' who sleep on Platform 1 at Sydney's Central Station, one woman having been there every night for years.
When I glance down the list of threads on this forum, we have topics such as how much % increase we have seen in our portfolios this year, what's happening with gold, etc etc. Nothing wrong with that. It's a stock and investment forum.
But it's in such stark contrast to that whole other world of misery endured by many ordinary Australians.
It's easy for us to write them off as no hopers, people who don't try to take control of their lives, and no doubt that's true of some. But adverse circumstances can befall the hardest worker, such as sudden and incapacitating illness or redundancy. The income ceases, the mortgage or the rent can no longer be paid, and suddenly you're on the street.
Such an instance was depicted on Four Corners with a woman, probably about 40, with a teenage daughter, who was not homeless but who found it nigh impossible to pay rent and utilities out of Newstart, the benefit which she'd been moved to after a short period on a Sickness Benefit. She was forced to go to a charity to ask for assistance, and to see her moved to tears of gratitude for a $60 supermarket voucher was a reality check for those of us who probably think little about just buying what we want when we want it. She was thrilled that she was able to buy her teenage daughter 'a decent deodorant'.
I've never been homeless but had a mercifully brief period of being hard up after leaving a marriage. It was humiliating and socially isolating. I always knew in a relatively short time I'd be back on my feet.
But for so many people, even just by virtue of their lesser capacity than that most of us enjoy, or their disadvantaged circumstances, poverty becomes a perpetual state.
I have no idea how this can be addressed. Does anyone have any suggestions?
For that matter, do any of us really care, save the occasional passing "oh, it's awful, isn't it."?