So it’s cold out…like really cold. This morning I had to scrape the ice from my car window, before getting in to try and turn the key with numb fingers and sit in there for ten minutes before my heating worked. Last night I slept with TWO pairs, yes two pairs of socks on (totally broke my boyfriends ‘no socks in the bed’ rule…twice) just to get to sleep because I was that cold! We have one heater in the house and I have been making ample use of having hot showers just to defrost my toes!
But in reality, I am lucky. Like, REALLY lucky. Because there are 105,237 (and counting) people in Australia who don’t have the comfort of heating, hot showers and multiple pairs of clean warm socks. In fact, there are people who don’t even have a roof over their head or a bed to sleep in.
This week is National Homeless Persons’ week in Australia, a week held annually in one of the coldest weeks of the year, to raise much needed funds and attention for those who are living on the street.
Devastatingly, in my home town of Melbourne, there are currently record numbers of homeless people who are living on the streets. Help services are under incredible strain and there is 40% increase of people living on the streets since 2012.
Just an hour and a half away from Melbourne, in Ballarat, a young, homeless couple and their dog were found dead in their car in last week, apparently killed by a gas heater they were using to keep warm. He was a 27-year-old man and she was a 24-year-old woman. The wind chill factor had the air feeling like 4 degrees on the night they died.
Shockingly, 17% of homeless people in Australia are under the age of 12 (that’s 17,845 little kids living on the streets Australia wide).
But there are some things we can do to help bring these shocking statistics down. Here are some super easy, and incredibly important, ways that you can help out this week:
1. There are over one hundred different events being held all around Australia this week to raise money for Homeless Persons’ Week, there is sure to be one nearby in your local community, check them out here:
2. You can donate to any of these organisations and charities who help the homeless in Australia:
3. You can spread the word about Homeless Persons’ Week on social media to help them raise much needed awareness!
You can find out more about Homeless Persons’ Week, and Homelessness Australia by going here.