R U OK?: Stopping to talk instead of walking past the homeless

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A woman who has been living in a car with her two dogs

Article by Zoe Mears, R U OK?: Stopping to talk instead of walking past the homeless. Summary and analysis by Elijah Adkins.

Cristel Simmonds from head space, a mental health service aimed at young people, volunteered at a fundraising event helping out homeless people. She explained from studies that homeless people have a much higher incidence of mental illness than the rest of the population. She also states a few times that homeless people don’t always want money, they just want someone to talk to so they can get that weight off their shoulders. Further into the article she mentions how broad the actual issues of homelessness are, stating that 48% of women sleeping on the streets are those affected by domestic violence. So after learning all of that she decided to organize a fundraising event to upgrade the shower and laundry facilities at a homeless service provided by the Anglican Church in Queensland, Australia, which is where the news from this article takes place.

This relates to trauma because homeless people go through so much on a day to day basis. How are you going to deal with being hungry everyday? Wondering when your next meal will come? That alone causes trauma. Not to mention the countless number of people that walk past them everyday ignoring them. The least you can do is speak to them, even if you don’t give them money, you’re giving them hope. Traumatic experiences, particularly in early childhood, are often a contributing factor to homelessness. Over 50% of adults who have experiences homelessness reported experiencing significant trauma according to New City Initiatives. If they have someone at least have a conversation with them just so they can get some weight off their shoulders, that could make a big difference in their life.

One of many of the homeless people in Camden

This relates to my life in Camden because almost everywhere you go you see homeless people. If you walk downtown, I can guarantee you that you’ll see at least 10 homeless people. In the 2015-2016 year there were a total of 683 homeless people in Camden according to The Collingwood Patch. And what I see the most when other people see homeless people is just flat out ignoring them. This article has encouraged me so when I see a homeless person, instead of walking past them and ignoring them, I will try to talk to them and brighten up their day.

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