Street Stories: Reality and Hypocrisy.
Street Stories: Reality and Hypocrisy.
We make Period Packs here at MPP, and we make lovely toiletries packs. We also supply blankets and sleeping bags to those experiencing homelessness and we support those in crisis accommodation. These are all good things, and we’re proud of what we do, really proud. We’re all volunteers and we’re doing a great job. But, none of this is doing anything to solve the problem of homelessness and the epidemic that is occurring right around our country.
We need to do what we do and we need organisations like MPP to exist, but sadly we’re also perpetuating this myth that homelessness is just the loss of a house, and that if we provide those things that were in that house, the person will be ok. If we provide food and clothes, toiletries, sanitary items and bedding, a place to shower and do some laundry, the person will be ok.
They’re not ok. They’re far from ok. They’re dying.
What we do is great work, but it’s not helping to solve the trauma that comes with being homeless. Our work doesn’t provide safety, warmth, security, comfort, family, protection and a sense of belonging. All of the things that are lost when the home is gone. We aren’t doing anything to actually help fix the problem of homelessness and we need to start moving into that space, to do more to help those who are suffering out there on the streets and in crisis accommodation. The reality is, unless we can push hard for some major changes to happen, these trite gestures of sanitary items and soap are doing nothing more than keeping people clean and hygienic while they slowly die.
Today I saw a young girl overdosing on substances. She’d taken something and it was killing her. The ambulance was on their way, but there was nothing we could do but wait whilst she expelled the contents of her stomach and curled up in both pain and fear. Actually no, terror. She was terrified, and I was terrified for her.
The problem with society is that we tend to romanticize homelessness. We think a care pack and a sandwich is such a heartfelt gesture and feel great about ourselves if we provide such to someone in need. Don’t get me wrong, these things do need to be done and they are appreciated, but they are barely scratching the surface of actually doing anything to help.
Today, in effect, I delivered a lovely nice smelling and very pretty toiletries pack to a young girl who was, at that time, dying from a drug overdose. She was dying, but she had a nice toiletry pack, so…
The hypocrisy here is that what we do is great work and we’re so proud and yes it’s needed, but we’re not doing anything to effect change. We have over 20 thousand people following our pages now, and we need to use those numbers to push for more to be done. We had a federal election recently and grown adults were donkey voting because they ‘hated all of the candidates’, yet there was a candidate for a major party who’s whole and sole reason for running was to effect positive and sustainable change in the homelessness realm. Yet hardly anyone knew who she was or what she stood for because we were all too busy shouting about the politicians we didn’t like, and not looking at the ones we did.
MPP is much more than a provider of sanitary items and toiletries to the homeless. We have a lot going on behind the scenes that we don’t always share on the page. We do educations sessions, we have a program for women who are housed but at risk of homelessness, we visit schools and we talk about how people can help. We write articles, we’re often on the radio and in newspapers myth busting the homeless stereotype and we have interns who are completing degrees and need contact hours as part of their courses. We advocate for those who can’t speak for themselves.
But even with all this we need to do more. And we need your following, your support and your people power to do this. We need your voice. We need you behind us so we can push for the changes needed en masse. It will be a slow process but with your support, it will be an effective one.
Our goal of teaching the country about the homeless period and the terrible effect this has on women and Transmen has been reached. People know. We shouted it out loud, we joined our voices with yours, and now they know. And this is incredible. The agencies have their Period packs, toiletries and sleeping bags. We did it.
But now, it’s time to do even more. We need to push our councils and government to look after people on the street and keep them safe. We need to push for more services and more assistance to rehouse people and keep that continued support. We’ll continue to provide our current services while we do this, but we need your support and your numbers to not be sitting here in five years, still handing out the same packs.
Join with us and let those in power know there are at least 20 thousand people wanting to know what they plan on doing to change this epidemic. 20 thousand pairs of eyes watching their every move.
There is so much more we need to do.