It’s 4am, I haven’t slept yet, and won’t be in the comfort of my bed for another 3 hours. Dazed, as I walk the streets of Perth’s main bar and club district, Northbridge. This morning I am hitting the streets of Perth with a crew of volunteers for Perth registry week, which is, in essence a census of homeless people in Perth.
Perth is a city I know well, what I don’t know is the situation of hundreds of homeless here. Sure, it’s easy to find people begging for change, or selling The Big Issue. For most of us homelessness is not really on the radar; we are a rich country, a country in which money comes easy – apparently, and a country in which egalitarianism runs through its citizens’ veins, supposedly. Yet we don’t give a great amount of attention to homelessness, which is a great failing, both socially and economically. We seemingly have collective blinders on and ignore those most in need through misconceived preconceptions. I could count on one hand the number of times I have given change when asked by someone who seems to be homeless, yet I the number of times I have been asked would be ten fold.