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Gimme Shelter – Sleepout at the Albert Hall

By johnboy - 31 August 2009 28

[First filed: August 29, 2009 @ 10:19]

Homelessness in Canberra is a bit of a hidden problem thanks to the cold. But it’s still out there, and one day it could be you.

This media release came across my desk and I offer it for your consideration, either to participate, or to sponsor:

    Cold, uncomfortable and unfamiliar. That’s the reality most nights for many people who are homeless in Canberra.

    The cold also comes as a shock to the hundreds of young people who flock here every year to work for the Commonwealth public service. It’s the stuff of a million jokes. We can laugh because we’ve got secure jobs, as well as central heating.

    But on 11 September we’re going to try and get a better idea of what it’s like to be out in the cold. About
    150 young professionals are going to be “sleeping rough” in Albert Hall. We’ll get a cup of soup and bread and a spot on the floor, but not much else.

    “Most homeless people in Canberra don’t have much certainty”, says event organiser Giles Dickenson-Jones, who works for Treasury and who is President of Spring, a volunteer organisation for young professionals.

    “They bounce between temporary and crisis accommodation, or jump from couch to couch, trying to stay with friends, family, or whoever will take them in.”

    “So for one night we’ll be doing what many homeless people do – sleeping in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable place. It won’t be that tough a night when you compare it to what homeless people face every day. But it will give us a rough idea of what it’s like, and help us raise awareness of homelessness in Canberra.”

    “More importantly, it will help us to raise money for Barnardos, which is one of Australia’s largest community organisations. It provides shelter and financial support to young people who are homeless and disadvantaged families in Canberra.

    Everyone who’s taking part in the sleep out will be asking their friends and family to sponsor them. And all proceeds will be handed over to Barnardos, and ploughed back into the vital services they provide.

    Mr Dickenson-Jones says dozens of young public servants have already signed up, and he’s hoping hundreds more will follow their lead.

    “Our generation is pretty sheltered, so we’re putting out the call — come and share some shelter with your mates.”

    “It won’t be a comfortable night, but it will still be a fun one. There will be live music, entertainment and a late night movie. We’ll also have some great guest speakers from Barnardos and other organisations, who can tell us how we can do more to help them help others.”

    WHAT: Gimme Shelter
    WHEN: 7:00 pm Friday 11 September until 9:00 am September 12
    WHERE: Albert Hall
    CONTACT:
    Giles Dickenson-Jones – 0439 472 603
    Erin Miller – 0403 532 339

What’s Your opinion?


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28 Responses to
Gimme Shelter – Sleepout at the Albert Hall
katahandmade 5:34 pm 29 Aug 09

Not alone in your thinking there Pommy bastard, rather than spending money on music and live entertainment how about actually getting these people to volunteer in soup kitchens and like?

fabforty 5:32 pm 29 Aug 09

Perhaps if the government stopped razing public housing complexes and selling off the land to private developers a la Fraser Court, there might be a few less homeless people. I know Fraser Court had its issues but at least people had a roof over their heads.

Pommy bastard 4:15 pm 29 Aug 09

caf said :

I supposed cafe latte’s will be delivered, pizza will be brought in, and a couple of bottles of good merlot will be a given?

Meanwhile, you are doing what exactly to help anyone apart from yourself?

Thought so.

Quite a fair bit actually, but I will not blow my own trumpet in public about it, that defeats the whole object of “good deeds done in secret.”

“The work an unknown good man has done is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground, secretly making the ground green.”
Thomas Carlyle

I cannot be alone in finding the whole concept of yuppies having a night in the Albert hall as a “rough idea” of homelessness, rather insulting to the homeless?

I-filed 4:02 pm 29 Aug 09

MrPC said :

Couch surfing/being stuck in share housing, or couch surfing when homeless. It’s much the same thing. Sure, slightly more dignity, but only slightly.

I noticed two of Canberra’s uber-rich people (dodgy eco-zillionaires) advertising for couches to sleep on, on a trip they were taking to the US — so they clearly don’t regard couch surfing, at least while travelling, as infra dig!

caf 3:33 pm 29 Aug 09

I supposed cafe latte’s will be delivered, pizza will be brought in, and a couple of bottles of good merlot will be a given?

Meanwhile, you are doing what exactly to help anyone apart from yourself?

Thought so.

MrPC 3:32 pm 29 Aug 09

Couch surfing/being stuck in share housing, or couch surfing when homeless. It’s much the same thing. Sure, slightly more dignity, but only slightly.

BerraBoy68 2:21 pm 29 Aug 09

Ivan76 said :

Bereaboy I think you’ll find the homeless youth don’t have the option to live with their parents rather they almost certainly come from broken homes with drug addiction problems, But thanks for nailing the typical Canberran response.
.

R-read my post Ivan, then comment. I wasn’t talking about the homeless in my first para, I was responding to MrPC’s comment on Generation Y and his expectations on salary and home ownership. It’s never a good idea to get a posters comments twisted.

I have a family member who have been homeless since 14 due to her having family issues and she ended up in prostitution and hard drugs. My own family and I have called in numerous favours over the years to help this girl out with accommodation and a job just to have it blow up in my face. So please don’t nail down my comments as being ‘typical Canberra’ anything.

Ivan76 2:00 pm 29 Aug 09

Curious that this idea pops up after the real cold snap of winter has passed us by. I completely agree wit you also PMM, I don’t recall live bands, guest speakers and a movie accompaning me when I was homeless as a teenager rather it was a lonely experence.

Bereaboy I think you’ll find the homeless youth don’t have the option to live with their parents rather they almost certainly come from broken homes with drug addiction problems, But thanks for nailing the typical Canberran response.

Mr pc I agree with you on the greedy landlord part but please don’t compare your $50k job with being homeless, it just means you can’t afford to go out to civic on the weekends & get drunk if you want to get ahead.

I hope they raise a lot of money as its a good cause but on the other hand. I also hope these young executives don’t go away actually thinking they know what its like to be homeless. At least they will have a taste of it & the speakers will be able to illustrate the rest I’m sure.

Pommy bastard 1:59 pm 29 Aug 09

“So for one night we’ll be doing what many homeless people do – sleeping in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable place. It won’t be that tough a night when you compare it to what homeless people face every day. But it will give us a rough idea of what it’s like, and help us raise awareness of homelessness in Canberra.”

To give them a better “rough idea” get a couple of dozen drunken tramps to share the shelter with them, prime them on a few flagons of “electic lemonade” each, so they spend the night fighting with each other, and calling these young professionals “Oy, you’re my besht mate you is. Didn’t you kill my brother?”

Then round up a few dozen skag addict to stroll about the shelter, constantly badgering them for; “Bit of change mate, got any change?” whilst knicking anything of value from them.

Oh, and at 3.00 am 4.00 am arrange for the police to move them on.

And 5.00 am, get the street sweepers to hose them down.

Make sure to run constant traffic as close as possible to wherever they are trying to kip.

“It won’t be a comfortable night, but it will still be a fun one. There will be live music, entertainment and a late night movie.

Idiotic ideas you couldn’t make up, number ; 2343453.

I supposed cafe latte’s will be delivered, pizza will be brought in, and a couple of bottles of good merlot will be a given?

caf 1:33 pm 29 Aug 09

Fluges: Isn’t it obvious that that’s the concept behind the poster, right down to the APS lanyard?

BerraBoy68 12:52 pm 29 Aug 09

MrPC said :

Homelessness is going to become mainstream if something isn’t done about skyrocketing house prices and greedy landlords. I was aghast when Jon Stanhope said that his land rent scheme would make home ownership possible for people on incomes as low as $50k. As an APS3, I earn just under $49k. Seems as if Gen Y can’t win no matter what we do.

Not sure I agree with you on that, Mr PC. Work hard, move up the corporate ladder and you can afford more in life. Till then live with the folks or get a fairly cheap group house. It’s the way every other generation has done it up to now. There are few ‘rights’ in life but I’m pretty sure being given a high paying job just because you want more money and new home while in your 20’s isn’t one of them. Think of it as an incentive to move up.

I think the above idea is a good one but who are these 150 young professionals and how were they chosen? As with PMM, I’m not sure live music, entertainment and a move is the way to show these people what being homeless is like. Surely having them sleep in Garema place or somewhere similar would have provided a better indication?

Fluges 12:24 pm 29 Aug 09

Couldn’t they have found somebody who looks just a little less like a comfortably-housed APS3 for the poster?

pmm 12:02 pm 29 Aug 09

I don’t think homeless people have the luxuries of live music, entertainment and a late night movie…

I-filed 11:25 am 29 Aug 09

I think the hardcore, street homeless tend to migrate north from Canberra for the cold months. So to replicate the experience, maybe fly to Byron and camp on the beach?

MrPC 10:45 am 29 Aug 09

Homelessness is going to become mainstream if something isn’t done about skyrocketing house prices and greedy landlords. I was aghast when Jon Stanhope said that his land rent scheme would make home ownership possible for people on incomes as low as $50k. As an APS3, I earn just under $49k. Seems as if Gen Y can’t win no matter what we do.

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