By LeQuan Ong, Volunteer Manager, 300 Blankets
Randomly surfing the Internet one day and reading a variety of articles, I came upon a conversation between two people in a comments section. The article was about a different topic but their conversation moved onto the issue of homelessness. Person #1 bluntly opined that, “We have so much welfare and government housing as it is being homeless in Australia is a choice”. Person #2 agreed. I was dismayed and taken aback to read this but I do not think negatively of them nor can I pass on any judgement. I do not have that right but I do hope that one day these two strangers, and other like-minded people, will develop an understanding of the realities of homelessness in Australia and in general.
Here at 300 Blankets we are working towards a community of awareness, tolerance and compassion. One without ostracism and making another human being feel inferior and less a part of our society. We encourage the benefits of volunteering and are constantly displaying that one smile, one blanket, one act of kindness is making a difference. This is what we believe is the warmth of humanity.
If you would like to gain a deeper understanding of some of our locals in need please check out the Homeless of Melbourne Facebook page and have a read. The stories there are insightful and I believe that it is incredibly brave for our fellow community members to open up so candidly about their circumstances and to show their vulnerability in such a public forum. I have a respect for their strength to fight on for another day and admire that so many of them do so with typical Aussie humour.