Day 2 of #30 Days of Kindness
It’s not difficult to be kind. It’s pretty simple really. The most difficult part is getting out of your own head space and thinking about making a difference to someone else’s life.
It’s estimated that over 50,000 young people don’t have a permanent home in Melbourne alone. It’s a staggering statistic.
Because of my line of work, I have learnt how rough homeless people have it – in particular young people. Whether you are sleeping on a string of friend’s couches, relying on emergency accommodation, or living rough on the streets, being consumed with getting by day to day, hour to hour and just surviving, is a nightmare way to live.
Many of the homeless young people I have worked with come from extremely difficult backgrounds, often betrayed by the very adults who are meant to protect them. They have very little in their lives and whatever they have they have fought viciously for.
Over the years I have been fortunate enough to be able to support the work of some fantastic, hard working youth homeless agencies. It’s afforded me the unique privilege to be able to participate in changing many of these young people’s lives.
The most surprising thing is that it doesn’t take much to turn some young people’s lives around.
An adult that gives a damn. One that is committed and who follows through. Some basic resources like food and shelter. A bit of support to get some work or get back into school.
An amazing friend of mine who worked in the homeless sector for years said to me once: “You may never know what the story is. You may never actually find out what led to that young person being homeless. But every kid deserves an adult who loves them irrationally.”
I agree with her.
So I may only have a dollar, or five to drop into someone’s cap. Other days I may be able to support the homeless folk who sell The Big Issue, as a form of income or the young person who sells their art work on the streets. The new StrEAT pop up coffee stands, that support the homeless into jobs and entry level certificates are my favourite place to grab a coffee and a bite to eat. Sometimes I am able to donate to things like food hampers or participate in drives for household goods. It feels pretty awesome to be able to help no matter how little or grand the help may be.
The best days though, are days like today, where I got to say hello and smile and hand a homeless young person some money, and with all the warmth I could muster, talk with them for just a few minutes. The smile back was totally worth it.