Wednesday, June 30, 2010

While you're down there....I'll kick you a bit more so you know your place,'k?

You reckon your life is shitty?
Try this on for size.
A homeless bloke, last Summer, shifted into the space under the overpass not far from here. He'd been chucked out of his rental digs and had his worldly possessions tucked in under the disused space where he also had his bed.
An extendable dining table with 6 chairs, a sofa, bookcase, TV, TV stand, and various bed linens in plastic garbage bags to keep them clean.
All quite respectable belongings in pretty good condition.
He lived there without disturbing anyone, he hung a sheet up to afford himself some privacy when in bed.
He was not in anyones way, he was not blocking use of the overpass, plus he was safe from gangs of thugs who bash the homeless.
How ironic that the morning after the Big Winter Sleep Out (ha ha, ho ho, oh, how humourous to sleep out in a cardboard box to raise money for the homeless! Pass the silver spoon, I have a plum lodged in my gullet) was staged by high-flying business leaders and CEOs that we find his space surrounded by council tape.
Monday my husband and son witnessed his worldly possessions being broken up by workers and thrown, piece by piece into the back of a rubbish truck.


  1. Do we have a clue as to what happened to the man himself?

  2. Nope, haven't seen him to ask if he was ok :(

  3. Sounds like this poor fellow got the same treatment as he would have in the USA!!!!!

  4. Sad. I hope he sues the council for the value of his belongings. I believe one guy did a few years ago and they had to compensate him.

    It drives me crazy that people seem to think that emergency accommodation is long term [ weeks or months] and that the only reason people are homeless is substance abuse or laziness. Having to go begging at a different charity every 48 hours to have a bed to sleep in would be soul destroying and as there limited ea places, very hard to get into.

    I'd rather the govt used the 36 million they've given the soccer federation to try and get the World Cup held here to pay for hostel accom to be built for the homeless.

  5. The thing that bothers me the most about things like this is that people do assume, immediately, that the guy is homeless because he made poor choices. People sit in their comfortable chairs in their comfortable homes and believe that it is that way for everyone, unless, of course, you deserve it. I hope to hear the rest of this yarn, and I hope it has a happy ending.

  6. There was a bloke we called "Old Andy" who squatted in a little tin hut he'd built beside Gardiner's creek in Tooronga.
    He had a camp stretcher, a kero stove, candles, and piles of old newspapers. As kids we used to visit him there some nights to be entertained by it all. He never had much to say but didn't mind us being there, although we had a laugh at him at times and played a few tricks, all harmless.
    You can't up and establish yourself like that anymore, not in Australia. But America doesn't care. Coming into San Francisco by bus I spotted several little cardboard communities on the outskirts, and walking the streets early in the morning I had to avoid legs across footpaths from people sleeping in doorways. Mass homelessness in Australia is a relatively new thing. Americans no longer even notice it. Homelessness is a tourist feature in America.

  7. That's so awful. Nothing gives them the right to smash up another person's belongings.