By Andrew Klein
Our communities are under attack; we see families collapse and people struggling where there is no community support. Women surviving on the streets because anything is better than being forced to live in a place called a ‘crisis accommodation ‘facility’. Men sleeping where they can, because funding streams don’t cater for men in need of support.
If you find yourself forced out of public housing due to violence, you will get even less support because on paper you are ‘housed‘! Agencies are compelled to use the tick a box approach in arranging crisis response because, well, if we don’t record the crisis in the statistics we obviously do not have a crisis.
See the little kids hanging around shopping centres, railway stations panhandling for smokes and some cash; they have already been forced to learn quickly that our services just don’t match the promises.
They learn early how to couch surf, find temporary alliances just to make it through the night. The old couple sleeping in the car don’t count because they fall through the cracks and end up moving benches at night depending on the weather. The single mothers don’t count because they are obviously failed parents and deserve little sympathy. The little ones are just the result of bad social skills and that touch of alcohol or drugs that kids succumb to.
Of course we have foster care, mandated responses. I love that word, mandated. I can roll my tongue around that word all day! ‘Mandated‘, legally required actions to ensure compliance to a system that is ‘mandated’ to bring about world best practice! ‘World Best Practice‘, another word that makes me feel all warm inside. That afterglow of knowing another has fallen through the cracks because we have world’s best practice case management. I love that word.
I could entertain you ad nauseam about a system that fails so many Australians on so many levels, never mind though. You keep sending your money to pay for some interesting project off shore, its tax deductible and may give that rewarding feeling of having made a difference in the life of a person that lives far away, is also suffering (due to a complex history of political failings/failed colonial rule and ongoing commercial exploitation by multi nationals). Never mind, I live in a 1st World Country and have total faith in the competence of my elected representatives to make informed decisions. I know that to be so because I drank the Kool aid years ago and feel oh so much better.
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