Solving the homeless problem

homelessTHE differences between Sydney and Melbourne are many, but one of the most prominent features I noticed on my recent trip south was the sheer abundance of charity cases trying to stop people on street corners, buskers (both good and truly appalling) everywhere and homeless people.

The first two didn’t really surprise me – in many ways Melbourne is what I imagine Sydney would be like if  people from Newtown were in charge. Cultural? Maybe – but at what cost? How many dreadlocks does a city really need?

What I didn’t expect, though, were the homeless people. Maybe up here they’re all residing in their tented communities in the middle of parks, but the number in Melbourne at any given time were astounding. They sit there, inert, often asleep, with those poorly written signs on damp cardboard that they know we’re not reading beyond the first line.

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