City of Sydney

Homelessness Meeting

A meeting just finishing at the Sydney City Council building has another doubtless well paid advisor spinning a rapt audience of homelessness workers his fantasy of an occasion for homeless people. His analysis and comments are offensive to us,and should be to any self respecting NGO worker with a genuine interest in homelessness solutions.

Our intrepid speaker spent some time focussing on “treating homeless people with dignity.” Although an admirable goal, I daresay each and every NGO worker present will attest that their organisation does this already,however untrue that may be. He waxes lyrical about the importance of crockery plates, and dismisses the paper variety.Perhaps he has a suppplier in mind,or even owns shares in a Party Hire business-who knows, or cares. Church based St Canices in the Cross and The Station serve meals on crockery plates at each meal – as does Matthew Talbot & last time I checked, even pariah Exodus Foundation in Ashfield. I don’t notice even a morsel of dignity on the plates provided at Exodus or Matthew Talbot.Despite the crockery dinnerware,these organisations aim to disempower,quite the opposite of dignity.Perhaps he means to infer that those such as Just Enough Faith who served nourishing food for 17 years on paper plates were disrespectful to homeless people – we didn’t notice, and the many marginally housed who kept coming nightly for the companionship and camaraderie as much as for the food, seemed blissfully unaware of this vital missing link in the law of dignity. The speaker went on to tell his audience how to deal with the negative feedback – “Picking people up and dropping them.” He stated that organisers should focus on what the actual participants, and the organisers themselves got out of it. Stuff what others think. In all the proposal is another expensive wank that does nothing to alleviate homelessness, so I miss the point,unless there is an ulterior motive government are not telling us.