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Giant bed being built in Civic to help homeless

By Barcham - 30 July 2013 20

Canberra has the second highest rate of homelessness in Australia.

To raise awareness of this upsetting statistic and create some discussion about it BIG hART are gonna build a giant bed in Civic square and put people in it.

It’s called the Winter Bed Vigil.

It sounds bizarre, but also really interesting.

On August 15th Big hART will set up an interactive multi media installation in the form of a large bed in Civic Square, Canberra. The bed will be occupied for four days and three nights by artists, politicians, activists, celebrities, housing advocates and members of the public to highlight the issue of homelessness and offer a space to engage in a dialogue about it.
In the weeks leading up to the Bed Vigil, a local filmmaker will be running basic skills workshops with the homeless community and capturing some local stories highlighting different experiences of homelessness.

These short films will be screened at the Bed Vigil alongside Big hART’s Knot@Home series; an 8 part tv series (SBS 2004) documenting experiences of young people across Australia exploring their stories of not being at home.

Big hART previously created a Bed Vigil in Melbourne in 2004 as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival and the broader Knot@Home project (2002-2005). Whilst the Canberra Winter Bed Vigil is a short term project it builds on the previous work of the company and aims to provide a platform for advocacy for housing groups in Canberra by using the Big hART approach of using the arts as a vehicle for change.

What’s Your opinion?


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20 Responses to
Giant bed being built in Civic to help homeless
wildturkeycanoe 6:53 am 31 Jul 13

I wonder if the money spent on equipment [bed materials, camera gear, signage etc.], the relevant government fees such as permission to use the space, public liability insurance, advertising and not least the money business spends on paying for all these people to have time off work – would be better used in buying something that directly provides for the homeless?
I am 100% certain, if we really tried hard and looked in various locales in the A.C.T, there could be found an unused warehouse, office space or similar that would provide better accommodation than underneath an off-ramp, in a dumpster or at the entry facade to a public building.
I’m all for helping these folks out, but it never ceases to amaze me when they do these feel good stunts that the warm fuzzy feeling of charity can cost so much money up front, but for what actual gain?
The Vinnies CEO sleepout raised nearly half a million dollars this year, The ACT Government has pledged $17 million into projects to house them this year. According to the most recent figures I could find – http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CHgQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.actshelter.net.au%2F_literature_131739%2FHomelessness_in_the_ACT_2013&ei=hyT4UeuXGoPIlAXb24EI&usg=AFQjCNHzndIbwi7Y9SZXomEAVSO6SGhbWA&sig2=YwrNn4soA9XpsFKy01incg&bvm=bv.49967636,d.dGI
it seems that only 1.6%, or 30 people out of the 1785 “homeless” are actually sleeping out in the cold, the rest are in accommodation, such as it is. If the nearly $10,000 per person allocated by the government can’t house a person, how much money will it take? For $10k a nice caravan could be bought and these people could afford to pay rent at a caravan park. There is then the option of traveling to the coast, if that’s where they want to reside. If all they need is a roof over their heads, how does this not meet their needs?

Reprobate 10:33 pm 30 Jul 13

So a big bed will be filled by artists, activists, politicians, celebrities etc for a token 3 days. And wIll they be allowing the homeless to sleep in this bed or their own beds at home those nights? Thought not.

What an absolute wank.

wrigbe 10:14 pm 30 Jul 13

I am too lazy to go to the effort of checking but educated guess would suggest that the first line should read:

“Canberra has the second highest rate of homelessness OF ALL CAPITAL CITIES in Australia.”
That would be a plausible statistic.

Androyd 9:50 pm 30 Jul 13

Where’s John Lennon when we need him 🙂

bundah 6:16 pm 30 Jul 13

poetix said :

Sleeping with a politician. Who is up for that?

Only if Kate Ellis is available..

Jethro 6:07 pm 30 Jul 13

Will Yoko Ono be making an appearance?

Masquara 5:18 pm 30 Jul 13

Thumper said :

KPIs? Check

Big bed? Check

Well, that’s it folks. Canberra has solved homelessness once again.

Take a bow.

KPI: profile-raising for Simon Sheikh. Tick!

Thumper 3:50 pm 30 Jul 13

KPIs? Check

Big bed? Check

Well, that’s it folks. Canberra has solved homelessness once again.

Take a bow.

Masquara 3:29 pm 30 Jul 13

Masquara said :

She should have been given a different gong – one perhaps for a “lengthy contribution to the art of cabaret” – but best performance? The old chook has 60-year-old, much over-exercised vocal chords. She simply doesn’t have it any more.

sorry posted in wrong thread …

Postalgeek 3:11 pm 30 Jul 13

Sorry Barcham, typos in general blurb can be overlooked, but headers need to be fixed: ‘built’ rather than ‘build’, but I would’ve also accepted ‘builded’ because I’m in that sort of mood. Or did you mean the bed was being ‘billed’ for services rendered?

Masquara 3:07 pm 30 Jul 13

She should have been given a different gong – one perhaps for a “lengthy contribution to the art of cabaret” – but best performance? The old chook has 60-year-old, much over-exercised vocal chords. She simply doesn’t have it any more.

breda 2:54 pm 30 Jul 13

Could we please have a source for this remarkable (and frankly unbelievable) statistic?

Statistics from lobby groups don’t count.

Are they seriously saying that somewhere like Alice Springs (pop, 25,000), where hundreds of people sleep in the Todd River bed, has a lower rate of homelessness than Canberra?

I don’t for a moment deny that it is a problem here, but dodgy statistics and stunts like the Big Bed do nothing to give this worthy cause credibility.

poetix 2:38 pm 30 Jul 13

Sleeping with a politician. Who is up for that?

Good cause. Horrible possibilities.

Barcham 2:02 pm 30 Jul 13

Matt_Watts said :

“Canberra has the second highest rate of homelessness in Canberra.
To raise awareness of this upsetting statistic…”

Is that meant to be the highest rate in Australia?

No!

I mean…

…yes.

Oops.

Matt_Watts 1:50 pm 30 Jul 13

“Canberra has the second highest rate of homelessness in Canberra.
To raise awareness of this upsetting statistic…”

Is that meant to be the highest rate in Australia?

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