Ask the Australian public what their worst nightmare is and amongst these answers, you’re likely to find homelessness. Homelessness is a growing concern due to factors like Australia’s fluctuating costs of living in an already embattled housing market. One can’t blame people for being scared.
As of March 2018, more than 116 400 Australian people are homeless, equating to roughly 50 people per 10 000 and an increase of homelessness by 14% nationwide (since 2011-16) and by a further 37% in NSW alone. Thankfully, the Liberal Government, our nation’s finest and all-knowing think tank (not) have come up with a solution – and no, it’s not increasing social housing and crisis accommodation or doing anything remotely tangible to rectify the issue at hand.
Early Tuesday morning, Luke Howarth, the Federal Assistant Housing Minister announced that he plans to put a more ‘positive spin’ on homelessness. That’s right, rather than actual support, all homeless people truly need is some good ol’ positive reinforcement.
My god, why didn’t we think of this sooner?
“I want to put a positive spin on (homelessness) as well,” Howarth said during an interview on ABC Radio. “And not just say that Australia’s in a housing crisis when it affects a very, very small percentage of the population.”
*Sniff* Such inspiring words!
Of course, our beloved MP has come under fire from charity organisations across the country.
“Housing in Australia is broken and there’s no way to put a ‘positive spin’ on it.” Anglicare Australia tweeted in protest. “Anglicare Australia’s research shows affordability has been plummeting for the last decade. That’s why there are more homeless than ever before #positivehomelessness ”
“How is this a ‘positive spin’?” asks the Melbourne City Mission. “There is nothing positive about experiencing or being at risk of homelessness. The positive thing Luke Howarth can do is invest more in social housing and youth crisis accommodation to #endhomelessness .”
Ugh, such derisiveness. Isn’t homelessness already a negative enough experience? Do these people really expect us to listen to facts? Since the Liberals are hellbent on responding to homelessness with a “positive spin”, we’ve compiled a list of potentials:
- Ever been annoyed by family members showing up unexpectedly? Well, not anymore! By confining oneself to a small tent or open-air sleeping bag, it sends a passive-aggressive message that you do not wish to have company present, thus freeing you from any undesirable social commitments.
- As an added bonus, you’re sure to deter any potential doorknockers like Jehova’s Witness members. After all, it’s not like God told people to help the poor and downtrodden, is it?
- Just imagine all the new people that you’re likely to meet if you’re homeless, especially if you’re one of the lucky 7% of homeless ‘Living Rough‘ on the street? Sure, most of those people will avert their eyes from you or panic if you approach them, but some might even be kind enough to throw some spare change your way. Gotta love some of that good old Aussie mateship, eh?
- When you aren’t being ignored by the masses, struggling for cash or worrying about your personal safety and that of your belongings, just imagine the open-air dining! Getting to enjoy a nice, lukewarm sausage roll beside a grimy railway station wall? Or perhaps a week old vegemite and cheese sandwich, right outside the QVB? Now that’s a true blue Aussie meal.
- Sure, you might have to grapple with some frigid and extreme weather elements but isn’t it worth it for those crowded suburban views? And yes, you might spend more time begging for money to buy food but hey, sometimes you’ve got to sing for your supper, right?
- But the best part of homelessness? No bills!
That’s right, folks, who would have thought that not having a house meant you didn’t have to pay bills? Making ends meet and homeownership is stressful enough without having to worry about taxes and stuff, especially when you realize that Australia has the highest energy prices in the world. But don’t worry, homelessness takes care of that! And while it is technically true that you’ll have to forfeit safety, shelter and your access to basic amenities, just think of all the money you’ll be able to save when you and your family are free from paying those pesky bills!
So if you ever find yourself kicked out of your home or being put at risk of homelessness because you can’t make ends meet, just remember to stay positive.
Is Luke Howarth likely to help you, as per his job description? No. Are there going to be scores of Australians taking time out of their busy days to ensure you’re okay? Highly unlikely. But in the end, all that matters is that you stay positive about your situation! Think happy thoughts! Hang in there, you impoverished, homeless baby!
Think positive, Australia. And remember – Luke Howarth and the Liberal Party have got homelessness covered.
Featured image via Unsplash