In this age of insecurity, if you found yourself suddenly homeless and perhaps penniless – what would you do?
Logically you probably would head for a homeless shelter because shelters operate to assist the needy with a bed and food. BUT, what happens next….same problem next day and the next and the next. Before you know it, your self esteem is heading for rock bottom. Couch surfing (the most dominant form of homelessness) at a mates place is the most common approach as the next step. Unfortunately, some friends seem to shun you in your darkest hour and therefore homeless people become too embarrassed to ask friends for help.
The ultimate goal of a good charity is to right the wrongs in life, contributing to the good of the less fortunate, not to feather their nest. So what are the determining factors in finding a good charity?
To explain, or describe, or interpret, or characterize the best charity to donate to, is how the dictionary explains “define” the best charity to donate to. To illustrate this more clearly, let’s take a look at the points below, one at a time.
1. Which cause?
2. Modus Operandi. Method of operation/charter
3. Ability to achieve the desired result (past performance)
4. Ability to lead/ utilization of talent pool
5. Enriching society (what do they give back)
Quite frankly, there do not seem to be enough homeless shelters to go around. How is that possible, you say? Well the swelling ranks of our homeless, is a prime indicator of the depths of gravity of the situation and the urgency required in providing a solution.
All homeless shelters are worthy of our help because they are the only recourse that our homeless can turn to in their times of great need. One of the best homeless charities to donate to, Sheltered By Grace is in Brisbane and expanding to provide more beds.
How do you say NO to a person in dire need – go away? Well, unless you yourself were in a similar position, it would take a truly heartless person to contemplate saying this. In all conscience, a humane person would at least attempt to help, would you agree?
That’s precisely how Chairman of Sheltered By Grace, Jason Loakes became so totally committed to helping homeless people. A friend and his family were in dire need.
Homelessness, poor health (both mental and physical) and substance abuse all go hand in hand. In many cases, poor mental health and substance abuse can be both a cause and a result of homelessness. The issue of homelessness cannot be addressed, solved or dealt with without looking at the issues of how to deal with poor mental health and substance abuse.
Mental illness in Australia is at epidemic proportions. One in four Australians either currently has or has had a mental health condition. Schizophrenia is on the rise, and affects about one in 100 or between 150,000 and 200,000 Australians (). People with schizophrenia are often unable to participate in normal social events of conversations, and lack sufficient motivation for simple activities like bathing or cooking. Many find themselves homeless.
For most of us, Christmas is a time for celebrating, for family, for mountains of food and the exchanging of gifts. For the homeless at Christmas, things are often very different. The homeless are often ostracized from family and friends and just the thought of Christmas may bring up not so happy memories of Christmas’ past. For them, there is no home where they can go to feel safe and loved, no great Christmas lunch feasts and no Christmas cheer.
Working with the homeless and some of the most needy and vulnerable people in our society, homeless shelters like Sheltered by Grace offer much more than just a roof over a homeless person’s head. Helping the homeless means working with people to deal with some of the unforseen consequences of living on the streets such as: the mental health and physical well being of a homeless person, perhaps helping them to deal with alcoholism or drug misuse and most importantly, offering the encouragement and support to help them to transform their lives and feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.
We all need to be grateful for what we have. It is a sad fact that so many people in Brisbane do not have the things they need to live life to the fullest. We’re not talking about the latest video game systems or the latest pair of brand name shoes. There are so many people around you, perhaps kids that your child sits with at the lunch table at school or even the man down the street, who do not have the essentials like food, electricity, water or even a place to call home. Homelessness is a major concern in Brisbane. Let’s take a look at some of the horrifying, but true, facts about homelessness in Brisbane.
Homeless shelters in Brisbane provide a very useful service to individuals facing life-evolving issues. There are a growing number of homeless people in the city –and these shelters are the one and only recourse these individuals have until they are back on their feet.
There are certainly far too few shelters in the area to support homeless individuals, but there are few great ones that are striving to make a difference. Your support is very much needed to continue to offer their services.
Oftentimes we paint a picture of what a homeless person should be like, look like or the behaviours. Sadly, this is generally not the actual facts of the matter. Homeless people are the kids that your child attends school with, the lady that you see in the store who you laughed at because of her clothes. All too often it is hard-working, law-abiding citizens who become homeless. Many times children are involved. So many are living pay check to pay check, and when the inevitable happens, disaster strikes.
Homelessness is a widespread problem that affects many countries around the world, including Australia. There are approximately 105,000 homeless people in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth on any given night. These include men, women, and children of all ages who are having a hard time getting back on track with their lives.
Since homelessness is a pressing issue that affects all of us, it is crucial that each one of us work together to help solve this crisis. Fortunately, there are organizations in Australia that have opened homeless shelters, like Sheltered by Grace, to accommodate the homeless. Sheltered by Grace provides both emergency and longer-term accommodation to the homeless and destitute allowing them time to rehabilitate and transform their lives.
This article appeared in the Quest Paper’s Albert and Logan News on Thursday 24 April 2014. It outlines our Chair Jason’s personal vow to end homelessness and outlines the way in which we can achieve this.
This article also features Kevin, who is one of our Transformation Story successes. You can see his story here…
Please share this article with those you know who may be able to help us transform homelessness. If we work together as a community, it is possible to achieve massive change and influence the community to help us transform lives.