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Canberra’s homeless

By Holden Caulfield - 31 January 2008 162

I caught a small snippet of Tony Delroy’s Nightlife program on ABC radio the other night (I think it was Tuesday night). Each night after his quiz he has an issue of the day where he asks punters to call in and ramble on about whatever that night’s issue is. On Tuesday night the discussion topic was homelessness and one guy called in from Canberra. I didn’t catch his name, but he was pretty bitter about our town, and he may have good reason I suppose. I’m not naive enough to deny that Canberra has a homeless problem, but for the most part, it is generally kept pretty quiet. What this guy got me thinking about was, how bad is homelessness in Canberra, and is there more that the more fortunate among us should be doing to help out? For example, in my own pretty comfortable life, I couldn’t even tell you where a homeless shelter is in this city. I think that’s pretty bad.

As a sidenote, I’m sure many will remember the old-ish guy that used to spend a lot of time around Civic, he was usually dressed in a suit and carrying a cardboard box or somesuch. Was sometimes prone to loud verbal discussions, mostly with himself, from his accent I’d say he was of Eastern European descent. You’d often see him in newsagents reading the paper, or whatever. I have’t seen him for quite a few years and I assume he has passed away?

What’s Your opinion?

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162 Responses to
Canberra’s homeless
howdy 2:25 pm 31 Jan 08

Grundy – Money comes easier to others. Some people are more employable than others, some have more fortunate upbringinings and education. Some people have experienced past trauma, some have lived in a protected bubble their whole life.

People are not identical, some are high earning management material and others have personalities that see them in a losing fight with their employer after a week.

If they are your wedding pics grundy then money appears to have come easily accessible to you at a young age. Hopefully as you get older you will realise that the world is a very different place of cause and affect for a wide variety of people and if you wish to pass such harsh judgment maybe you should stop and find out why they are on the streets first.
(Or if you don’t want to have a chat with a homeless person I’m sure there is plenty of reading material on the subject available…)

And then maybe you could even give them some of your spare cash to buy a meal instead of constantly indulging yourself and your opinions of those worse off than you : )

Typsy McStaggers 2:06 pm 31 Jan 08

So Grundy, of the presumed 900 homeless people in Canberra, in your ‘informed’ opinion, how many fit into your excluded category of “mental or other disabilities”? And please define “other disabilities”, would this mean physical? Does this include substance addiction?

Sands 2:00 pm 31 Jan 08

Where is the shelter? Is it that place in Barton?

Mælinar 1:33 pm 31 Jan 08

To answer your question, I would consider the estimate by the Canberra Shelter of 900 homeless people in Canberra at any one time fairly reliable, on account they are the people on the front line.

Yes, I said nine hundred at any one time.

gun street girl 1:29 pm 31 Jan 08

Pretty big exception to the rule, there…

Fluges 1:24 pm 31 Jan 08

Grundy, animals like you disgust me. I hope one day you have to experience chemotherapy and see how that effects your brain chemicals. I would like to see you suffer depression and all it’s psychosomatic side effects, all completely beyond your control. Then I hope you lie in a gutter somewhere so the Grundy’s of this world can give you a kicking as they pass by. I cannot describe how much I dispise people like you, who have no empathy or compassion for their fellow human beings. I hope all your loved ones die slow and horrible deaths just so we can laugh at your grief. What a pig you are.

grundy 1:15 pm 31 Jan 08

Did you all click reply before reading…
“(With the exception of mental or other disabilities that prevent you from living that normal life)”


Skidbladnir 1:14 pm 31 Jan 08

Yes grundy, homeless veterans and other citizens are there purely by choice, and are nobody elses problem but their own.
Once they die from tuberculosis, pneumonia, or other preventable infections they have chosen to expose themselves to and not get treated, we should liquify them and turn them into an industrial lubricant, to be made available from our Government shopfronts.

grundy 1:11 pm 31 Jan 08


Glad you learned something. 🙂

Danman 1:11 pm 31 Jan 08

Homelessness is a choice as far as I care.
Its obvious that being an irate wanker is a choice as well

Good to see we have really compassionate (read ignorant) people in our readership.

perhaps you best go work for a soup kitchen or something for a while – find out the real reasons for homelessness – not your assumed reasons.

Regardless – these people need help – not always a hand out – more often a hand up – not a dimwitted attitude such as your….

If you are not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem.

Sands 1:06 pm 31 Jan 08

I agree with grundy to a point. But I recall a segment on Sunrise (that’s another thread altogether) where a reporter would interview the homeless. Their stories were quite unique. Temporary homelessness is a sad fact. Some people get kicked out of their home (yes, adults too) and can’t afford to rent AND pay their exes mortgage. It happens. Don’t forget how fucked up our ‘justice’ system is.

Heavs 1:04 pm 31 Jan 08

Wow. What an informed comment.

grundy 1:00 pm 31 Jan 08

What should we do to help out?


Homelessness is a choice as far as I care.
In this country, everyone has the opportunity to become educated, get a job, rent a house, get health care etc etc…

Those who CHOOSE to be homeless do so because they are too lazy to do what everyone else does and get a job and live a normal working life.
(With the exception of mental or other disabilities that prevent you from living that normal life)

It is ridiculous to consider any form of sympathy when these people have the same opportunity to get the dole, get a job and pay their own way just as the rest of us have to.

These lazy bums probably have a higher income begging for money than our health care and child care workers anyway…

Sands 12:57 pm 31 Jan 08

If it’s the one I’m thinking of, he’s still around Holden. Hangs around the TAB near the casino. But I haven’t seen him for a few weeks.

West_Kambah_4eva 12:54 pm 31 Jan 08

The casino is open late, hence no real need for a homeless shelter.

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