Helping homeless in the pandemic

Cat Delaney

For whatever reason people find themselves in a position of homelessness……it is not for anyone to judge.
If you are bitching about having to stay in lockdown, imagine how it must feel to be homeless right now during this pandemic.

Arh!!! but you say….The government is putting our homeless into motels during this pandemic…Yes they are…this is how homeless people  go about getting into a motel.

Contact …”Links to Home”  1800 152 152 (Links to Home is a government department)

Now it does take some time to connect…it took me over 30 minutes to get to actually speak to someone….when I rang them for someone last week. This person told me I needed ID…Centrelink CRN, Health Card or Pension card. Poof I was homeless and the reason  why I became homeless, and where I had been staying while homeless…eg. couch surfing, or on the Streets…etc.

After you connect…and meet the requirements….you are offered a 7 days crisis care stay in a motel near you. This then is extended but only by this person recontacting “Links to Home”. This extension stay then goes for another 14 days, and again this homeless person must recontact “Links to Home” themselves.

Plus they are instructed to contact their nearest Department of Housing or Social  Housing Department to be placed on a permanent housing placement list. At the moment for the average single person it was a waiting list time on PRIORITY clients of 14 years. I was told.

Now during this pandemic and especially during lockdowns, this time allowed in motels as been extended from 28 days a year to on going until reviewed by the government .

Sounds like great news doesn’t it….and it is for those who can get their head around all this…or even find someone  to help them.

But imagine having learning disabilities, or any other kind of disability….can make things very difficult…especially  for those with mental health or those with trust issues…..or those to impatient to wait on a telephone for over 30 minutes…and not sure how long public phones allow you to ring for too.

So for many of our homeless ..who feel they are a lost cause,  become depressed or just can’t manage the above….it just becomes easier to live on the Streets…and rely on homeless  charities etc. And thank God for them.

How easy is it now to stay inside your home during lockdowns…no matter it’s size…it is your own private space…filled with your favourite things etc and maybe even pets.Electricity, TV , computers …warmth, clean showers or luxury in a bath….your home.

So please can we…all just do what is asked of us…obey these lockdown orders and get your vaccinations.

If we all get on board with our  government requests…the quicker we get back to our old way of life…Or hopefully  a new improved  life.