Stories tell of cycles that are hard to break
PETER HUMPREYS, MANAGER AT HAMILTON CHRISTIAN NIGHTSHELTER TRUST
I would just like to make a comment on a recent insightful story by Matt Bowen, The Gilded Tramp of Hamilton.
The story is the story and we can all critique it, and come up with solutions that fit our reality. Lindsay Evans has introduced his reality: "His problem, he says, is not homelessness but joblessness", "his savings are locked into fixed-term deposits at an interest rate of about 5 per cent, reserved solely for a rainy day".
Lindsay articulates his story very well and tells to anybody who will sit down and listen. We can criticise the reporter for what was included in the story and some will criticise Lindsay for his perceived lifestyle choice.
Let's just take a step back. Many people choose lifestyles that are not healthy, many people get into relationships that are not healthy, many of us look in and wonder what the hell they are doing in these situations. Just like domestic violence situations, homelessness is a cycle and, for whatever reason people end up homeless, it is very difficult to get out of it.
We have many people coming through the doors of the Nightshelter who have mental health issues.
We have many people who come through the Nightshelter who have been institutionalised, abused and have had family breakdowns. They all have stories and many times they have never been listened to or their story has not been told.
This story tells you of Lindsay's reality.
We all need to know these stories because I know that tonight at the Nightshelter I will be talking to somebody's father, somebody's uncle and somebody's son.