We can all make a difference
WHAT can the average Perth resident do to contribute to helping homeless?
Contact your local homeless shelter to donate items like blankets, toiletries, multi-use water bottles, backpacks, clothing and durable shoes.
Contact your local representatives and push for new legislations and housing projects to support the homeless, mentally affected and domestic violence victims.
Respect, don’t judge. Having a conversation with a fellow human being helps us realise there is not a lot of difference between us.
It is often a personal tragedy, loss of job, divorce or illness and a lack of support structure that could cause any of us to fall.
A smile and a friendly face can make a big difference for someone to feel less alienated.
If you can make time to volunteer at a local homeless shelter you could answer phones, sort mail, cook, serve food, distribute clothing or fix things for free at the shelter. Find out what they need.
Collect toiletry bags, blankets, backpacks, water bottles, warm socks and boots during the warmer months from your home, friends and family.
Pack a big bag and head into town. The homeless people there are not only grateful for the gifts, but the fact that someone cares.
Find out if there is a chance to organise classes through the shelter or a community centre that offers to teach homeless people computer skills.
Finding support networks for legal advice, nutrition awareness, addiction support and counselling, learning English/new language or an instrument, to feel less isolated and part of a community.
It is handy to have contact numbers, if they are new to Perth or their situation, for free food, emergency shelters, domestic violence, counselling and rehab facilities.
This news is not second-hand
AS a regular donor of decent-quality items to op shops, I was horrified to read Simone Dominique’s Speaker’s Corner “An opportunity wasted” in last week’s Voice, alleging major problems with many op shops.
She claims they needlessly throw out many high-quality or even new items for a range of disappointing reasons.
As a long-term heavy consumer of news media and ardent watcher of politics, it seems to me she has discovered a story that deserves coverage well-beyond the pages of the Voice.
I would encourage her to build on her Speaker’s Corner piece with more examples of her observations of waste and the poor excuses given by op shop management.
I suspect the WA environment minister would be suitably scandalised.
Federation Street, Mt Hawthorn