Category Archives: Homeless

How do People Survive Homelessness in the USA

I’d love to have a van to sleep in.  I’ve been homeless for over 2 years.  I am exploring deeply the structural violence of inequality.

In the US and Australia, the irony is these are first world countries that should not have any homeless problem.  Clearly the issue is not about money.

Homelessness says more about the society than the person homeless.

Homelessness Ends When Home Begins in Y/our Heart

I was rejected from being registered on the housing register today.  That is to have your name for the next available house.  I was told it takes 20 years.  Nonetheless I was rejected because I had no money.  I received another rejection from the Superannuation regulator that I do not qualify under hardship as I am not on Centrelink (welfare) and the fact that I can prove I have no money or assets is irrelevant as only Centrelink is recognised.  People get approximately $550 a fortnight and I have no income. Yet a person on this payment can access their superannuation.  I cannot access it survive as technically I am not entitled if I am not receiving welfare.

I felt some sorrow tonight as it is an endless road I am on where there is no help for those homeless due to economic circumstances. If I am in a fire, it will be different.  They get support, shelter, food, clothing and grants.  People will take them in, but not a poor person as they are silently blamed for their circumstances.  Incredible.

I wrote this poem tonight to find the light in the darkness of ignorance and lack of empathy for the poorest of the poor who are equal in truth.

Homelessness Ends When Home Begins in Y/our Heart 

To be home-less,

Is to have no home,

To have no home,

Is to have no place,

To have no place,

Means you don’t belong,

To not belong,

Means you are isolated and displaced,

To be isolated and displaced,

Means you are a refugee in search of refuge,

To have no refuge,

Means there is no support offered,

There is no rescue or crisis response,

There is no help or concern,

There is only silence,

As you do not fit the criteria,

Even when on the street,

It is up to you if you sink or swim!

 

For to be homeless,

Means you made your bed,

But you can’t sleep in it.

 

If you are homeless due to fire or flood,

Then you will be given shelter and a bed,

You will be given food and clothing,

Donations will pour in as you are deserving,

You were earning and working hard,

You have earned the right to income support,

The community will pitch in,

The media will report these stories,

As the fire or flood is not your fault,

It is a natural disaster,

An act of God,

You are the innocent victim of circumstances,

You lost your house and possessions,

Everyone cares about your plight,

You feel seen and heard,

They will make sure you are alright,

Airlifted in the middle of the night.

 

If you are homeless due to economic failures,

Pick yourself up,

If you are homeless because of a landlord eviction due to his illegal dwelling,

There is no compensation or grant given,

If you are homeless due to abuse and trauma,

There is no counselling or show of concern,

You don’t earn,

If you are homeless due to housing unaffordability,

Get a better paying job,

Find a partner to share the rent,

But if you are alone you are left alone,

Poverty is the greatest violence.

 

You lose access to:

A phone to call for help,

Quality food to stay healthy,

Quality medical care ,

Legal representation,

Education,

Friends and family,

Social outings and the normal life,

Quicker Toll roads,

Parking is no longer free,

Community events,

Insurance to cover in case of accident,

For if you do not pay you have no say.

 

You will ask around as you are lost,

You will be passed from pillar to post

and found wanting,

For there is never enough,

Waiting lists mean there is no funding,

There is no compassion or concern,

There is no offer of food,

There is no offer of shelter,

For if you have no money,

You will fall between the cracks to discover,

The gaps in humanity are unbridgeable,

As the maze is the real smoky haze where you cannot see your way clear,

You’ve cried many tears,

It just got too hard,

You realise there is no way out,

There is no exit or escape,

There is no way up when the only way is down,

Silence becomes the sound of….suicide.

 

The community turns its back in indifference quoting legislation or criteria,

Not one kind word is spoken,

Professionalism is cold and impassive,

For you have no choice,

You have no voice,

As you choke on your story,

They don’t care at all if you have no bed to make,

As you can’t afford any rent but you have a tent,

You are worth less in others eyes,

Vulnerable to deceit and lies,

You are an economic refugee with no country of origin,

For there is no economic refugee convention,

Your rights are excised at Christmas as you live on a deserted island,

Cut off Centre-link as a digital link with no heart connection,

All are numbers and names are ID,

Artificial Intelligence is Auto-mation,

An electric voice with no-emotion,

No-one cares for y/our story – comply or lie,

No comply no pay – why?

For contention is dissention,

Dissention is sedition,

Conscientious objection to corruption is vilification,

For you can only say YES in a smart city,

Not a clever country,

Those SMART revoke your licence,

To own nothing is to hold no rights,

The inalienable right to be human cannot be owned,

Democracy is the right to have a say,

As freedom of speech honours diversity as unity.

Defiance is non compliance when:


You are not complying with…

No right to self determination,


You are not complying with …

No right to shelter,


You are not complying with…

Work for the dole as slavery,

 

You are not complying with…

Forced agreement to job plans,

Forced job applications without pay rates,

Ineffective activities falsify the relationship,

As it is not about gaining a job,

But funding the private job providers to search,

For it is corporate welfare that works,

Those that do not work languish on welfare,

Does anyone care?

Will this Advance Australia Fair?

 

For when you stand on your feet in integrity

And say no to what you feel is detrimental,

Speaking up for mental health,

Refuse to live on your knees and plead for help,

Conscientious objection becomes the grounds for rejection as shifting sands change the legal scape,

As sands through the hour glass waste the days of our lives, beyond time with income limits.

 

You do not have the right to access a housing register,

There is no right to shelter when out in the cold,

No matter severe hardship the cold deprives,

Greed punishes those not working 9 to 5,

For the system to work all must work hard,

No matter unforeseen circumstances or bad luck,

You do not have the right to receive superannuation to relieve hardship but you can renovate your property rights as building rites are ok,

You do not have the right to say no to corruption impacting social destruction,

You do not have the right to homeless services as only user’s pay higher rates,

They deserve to stay in rooming houses in small rooms with narrow views,

As there is no privacy or personal space,

Only consumers have the right to a bed for the night,

And poor citizens have lost the right to be human,

Human rights conventions are paper tigers and talk fests to fool the public as standards are poor,

As the stock exchange is now a market garden,

Freedom of information is not free but hidden,

Regulators are not independent as funding cuts under resource the real regulation of misconduct,

Appeals to reverse decisions are not fair hearings but processes to guidelines of control finalising outcomes,

Equality before the law bows to the judge of status,

As the home-less are not equal or believed lawful,

The court users ‘pay’ to uphold status and property rites,

Sliding scales ensure there is no safety net or level playing field for whistle-blowers,

Just a free fall in fields of fire as the heat is on,

Where to fall is free and to be burned is to learn you are not free,

There is no hand up or hand out only silence,

As you have no right to life or life with rites,

Access is a digital transaction not a rite of passage to higher learning as wisdom steps back,

For one has to earn the rite to vote.

 

The homeless vote for what is right,

As the kite that upholds REAL HOPES in…

Responsibility, Empathy, Awareness, Love,
Honesty, Oneness, Peace, Enjoyment and Service

…floats for equality as comm-unity action,

E-quality rebalances in-equity,

EQ is the quality of emotional intelligence in-forming natural equity as abundance.

 

For you are me and I am you in gratuity,

And what you do to another returns to the self,

No matter fire, wind, drought, plague, flood or snow,

Everyone deserves to know as ‘Above so Below’,

As this is the secret garden that grows in perpetuity,

For only the light reveals what is dark,

The Yin and Yang finds harmony in balance.

 

Poverty is the greatest imbalance stunting growth,

As one goes without when another has too much,

Greed and poverty are the happy/sad face dancing in the dark of ignorance without romance,

Balance is caring,

Democracy is sharing,

As we share abundance grows,

For no-one will go with OUT,

All will go with IN and remember …

Evolution = no-it-u-love (reversed),

When love is known

Home is owned

without payment,

As a place of unconditional love

is the statement received,

 

 

Homelessness ends when home begins in y/our heart,

Heart is where the Home is,

To be heart-less is to be home-less,

For home-less is only less,

When the heart is care-less

Realisation suddenly reverses the roles

in truth.

 

To shelter under a roof,

Is the relief that is super,

As government housing investments redirect funding into public assets reassessing real wealth as the real estate.

The real Wealth of Nations creates a caring economy,

Putting people before the (shopping) cart,

A sustainable art of the equitable economy,

Rebalancing people over infinite profit,

To care is to share the new social prophets,

As economy means household as the Home,

And share-holding is to hold each other up,

For this is the greatest wealth in any nation,

That yields Gross National Happiness as endless growth that sustains humanity,

In peace.

 

 

 

Home is to Sing the One Song


It is Christmas Time,

Everyone is rushing around,

Finishing up work for yet another year,

Presents, food, visitors, trees and decorations,

Celebrations as the community looks forward to time off to relax,

To try to just be

happy.

 

Homelessness has no time off,

For you cannot afford a holiday,

You cannot buy presents or cook a Christmas lunch,

You cannot go out with friends,

As the ends has to find the means,

You cannot drive in the country and forget about life,

For there is no summer break as homelessness is full time,

Many reach real natural limits,

As they cannot join in when excluded,

As they cannot come out in shame,

As life is survival not celebration,

For a personal crisis can become a rubrics cube,

Where you just can’t find the winning combination,

Stuck in the labyrinth with no way out,

As each alley appears blind,

Yet when someone is kind,

A new door opens,

To faith.

 

Many do not relate to homelessness as they have a home,

Many do not relate to hunger as they can buy something to eat,

Many do not relate to not affording public transport as they have a car,

Many do not relate to not affording a phone as they just renew their credit,

Many do not relate to credit running out, the well spring running dry or food insecurity,

Nor losing friends or family as they have many reunions.

 

For those without a place called home,

A place where they belong,

They have to be strong,

To find home is where the heart is,

For this is the swan song staying afloat,

This is the unchained melody seeking freedom,

That reminds us that we can ‘be the change we wish to see’,

For to be free is to see opportunity,

Even in blind alleys with no exit,

Even in silent exclusion when locked out in the cold,

Even in indifference walking past real need,

For the future will walk in hope and inspiration as the renewable seed,

The future will turn hard knocks into wisdom of the elders,

The future will awaken as we are our sisters and brothers keepers,

Keeping a watch on each other’s well-being for the common good.

To know: 

What you do for another returns to the self,

For it is not to disable but enable inclusion,

It is not to make dependent but to empower independence,

It is not tomorrow for NOW is the hour of our decision,

To remember we are ONE family not living on isolated islands of despair,

That we are singing the ONE song at a higher frequency.


To inspire that:

We all belong when we let go of fear and judgement,

We all belong when we let go of inequality,

We become strong when we let go of anger,

When we forgive as this is for giving,

And to give is to receive,

To receive is to know,

That what you give returns in abundance,

That we have the inner wealth to keep on giving,

That we receive a smile,

We give a kind word,

That we receive a truthful response,

That we give random acts of kindness,

As strangers can come to us without warning to remind us,

That love is all around,

That love is who we are,

That love never is left wanting,

That we are loved without condition,

For this is unconditional love,

Which is the greatest petition giving all of our heart 
to all without fear or favour,

To learn unconditional love as the real test of our lives,

For our lives are always tested when we confront our greatest fears,

When we are about to leap off into a great adventure,

The tragedy and/or the comedy arrives,

For it is to face life with courage,

It is to laugh at life with humour,

It is to find the wisdom in life as it hands you a piece of bread,

Will you break bread or hide it away under a bushel?

To see the perfection in the process,

For there are no mistakes in the universe,

And the uni-verse is again, the one SONG,

The verse is the rhythm and the rhyme,

That reminds us yet again …

that all BELONG in this SONG.

 

You are unique and a treasure,

For your gift to life is your very self,

And you are the pre-sent,

The present at Christmas,

A gift that has been given and received,

Without expectation of return or to earn respect,

For happiness is the greatest gift I can give everyone,

Love is the greatest inclusion I can offer in humility,

Peace is the greatest example I can live as our destiny,

No matter outer conditions,

For I am learning that every day is Christmas,

That Christ mass consciousness is in the masses no matter religion,

For the real petition is to love your neighbour as yourself without condition,

For Love was always the answer.

 

Did you know the perennial question?   How can I love my life?

Love until it no longer hurts,

For love is to re-member each other as true selves,

Perhaps these are the elves at the bottom of the garden?

A Garden of Eden is harmony expressing the perfect presence,

For to extend the hand of friendship as a real friend 
is to truly see you are me,

And what I do to another returns to the self.

So when one feels homeless,

Or less without a home,

Show them the home in your heart as an opening flower positively shining,

As kindness matters.

 

When someone reaches out to you in hope,

Reach back with real inspiration,

As REAL HOPE inspires what matters.

When someone has no money,

Offer abundance in a way that feels ‘good’,

For the real wealth is sharing,

Real sharing is caring,

Real caring is smiling,

For to C.A.R.E. is Courage, Awareness, Respect and Equality,

For this is the inclusion that has no limit,

Acceptance is the greatest gift you can give at Christmas,

Happiness is open to presence re-membering who we really are,

For how can one not shine when a member of the human family,

 

Realising –

HOME is where the heart is,

And the heart always remembers

HOME.

 

Peace and Love,

Susan
A Peacefull clown

Crisis for those over 55 years and Homeless

In the public interest.

https://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/news/crisis-to-get-worse-for-over-55s

Crisis for over 55s “only going to get worse”

Immediate action is critical to solve growing homelessness problem.

Crisis for over 55s “only going to get worse”
 
 

Being able to pay for a roof over your head shouldn’t come at the expense of feeding yourself or being able to buy medication you need to stay alive, and yet that is the situation in which thousands of older Australians find themselves.

YourLifeChoices research shows that of the 5561 who responded to the Retirement Affordability Index 2017-18 survey, more than 53 per cent of those on the Age Pension often run out of money before their next payment.

Of the 3339 homeowners who took part, just over 54 per cent say they wouldn’t be able to meet weekly expenses if they didn’t own their home.

Of those who rent, many are left to choose between food in their mouths, freezing through winter or foregoing important medication in order to pay rent. Some simply won’t be able to afford to do so for much longer.

On the heel of this warning, and with projections that the nation’s older population will double in coming decades, comes the call for more money to be injected into affordable housing for the elderly.

A new report to be launched today by Senator Doug Cameron will call on policymakers to urgently address the problem.

At last count, there were 18,625 homeless people aged over 55, but there could be more, as the Census only takes responses from those with a fixed address.

Renters aged over 65 are struggling to make ends meet, many paying more than 30 per cent of their income on accommodation costs, an increase of 42 per cent in the past five years. In some cases, rent can take up to 70 per cent of an older person’s income.

“This situation is only going to get worse,” warned Debbie Faulkner, the deputy director of the centre for housing, urban and regional planning at the University of Adelaide.

“They tend to pay their rent first and go without their health needs, their pharmaceutical needs or even food.”

And these are the ‘lucky’ ones who still have a roof over their heads.

Brian Lipmann, who founded a non-profit organisation that helps disadvantaged older Australians, says the homelessness situation is getting worse.

In the 30 years since he opened the Wintringham Specialist Aged Care Centre, which provides housing for around 1800 people aged over 50 on any given night, he says evidence of elderly homelessness has never been so bad.

“A lot of those people have never had anything to do with homelessness before.”

Common causes of homelessness for older people include domestic violence, the death of a partner and elder abuse, he says.

People who can’t even afford to rent are joining billowing queues for public housing. In Victoria alone, around 4000 people are on the list, with that number growing weekly. According to Council of Homeless Persons chief Jenny Smith, around 23,000 people aged over 55 requested help from homeless services.

“Due to the chronic shortage of affordable housing, the best those people are offered is a short stay in a refuge, rooming house or caravan park,” said Ms Smith.

“This type of marginal accommodation has a devastating impact on the physical and mental health of the elderly.”

Aged-care homes are not an option either.

“The Age Pension isn’t enough to pay private rents and the current aged-care system is designed for those with property and assets,” said Mr Lipmann.

And contrary to stereotypes, most homeless older Australian have done the right thing all their lives – working, paying taxes, raising families – only to find themselves struggling at a time when they should be looking forward to a peaceful retirement.

“At the time of your life when you’re the frailest and sickest, to be faced with trying to find a feed or trying to find a place where you’re not going to be bashed or robbed or raped is terrifying,” he said.

Experts are calling for bipartisan support to help solve this crisis before it’s too late – if it’s not already.

Do you struggle to make ends meet? Do you know someone who does? Is owning a home pivotal to a manageable retirement?