RON WALLEY, left, is one of the people who shelters by the toilet block and uses the threadbare facilities there.
Most of the rough-sleepers stay here while in town for medical care, but Mr Walley’s been in Perth a few years now, and homeless for about six months since his brother and mother died last year.
Mr Walley says he doesn’t like sleeping in the hostels: he prefers to sleep under the stars, and suspects that’s the case for many other Aboriginal people. Nearby affordable hostels have pretty dire standards, with reports of bedbugs, dirty conditions and fighting through the night.
A member of the stolen generation, Mr Walley says he doesn’t have many friends and spent Australia Day lonely, and alone. Last week his pillow and blanket were stolen and he relies on the Salvation Army for food.
The PCC has also looked into getting the Salvos’ food van moved to another park, but the Salvos say they go where the need is greatest, not the other way round.
by DAVID BELL and MATTHEW DWYER