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Living on the Streets: A Serious Crime

If every man comes from God, why are we so driven by stereotypes and justifications to separate the human race? A man of fortune is on top of the food chain but instead of helping the less fortunate, he thrives on classifications.

There are many reasons why people become homeless which comprises those who are couch surfing, living it rough, in their car as well as visible on the streets. Experiences passed through generations, job losses, mental illness, bad decisions, too many children, lack of finances.

Personally, I’m living in my car due to bad decisions and trusting friends who I thought were good. It’s a game of dominoes. Sleeping rough makes you exhausted, you become a liability if you’re employed, you run out of money and food . . . BAM! You face the idea of hanging yourself, committing an armed robbery or toughing it out. So far I’ve only resorted to the last option.

A homeless woman in Murray Street Mall Perth, Western Australia - more older females living rough or in shelters an unexpected shock
A homeless woman in Murray Street Mall Perth, Western Australia

I close my eyes, listening to the rumbling of the local insect air fields interrupting my sleep. The heat intensifies with excessive temperatures of 30 degrees outside my window, my heavy quilt protecting me from the loud mosquitoes, yearning for my blood. I try and dream of something pleasant, happy memories but the hunger pains in my stomach rumbles me awake, the added “time-of-the-month” women’s syndrome intensifying my hatred of myself, my life and my choices.

Social crimes connected to living on the streets such as move on notices issued by the police, drinking and swearing in public has branded me a criminal for life, whether I have committed them or not. I have never stolen, never assaulted, never done drugs but no one cares. It’s all the same. Now I can never enjoy the same benefits of life as those who have never been in trouble and there are many jobs I can never apply for like a security license. The inbuilt classifications as a result will follow me through my life, the world and especially the government, who will never be prepared to give me another chance.

I met a friend on the streets. A tall happy larrikin with a beautiful smile that could turn winter into summer and night into day. His heart on his sleeve, showing the world his care and love for those he never personally knew. He forks out $50 to a homeless man on the side of the street, not caring if it was for drugs but happy to have helped the guy with his temporary issues. A middle class man enjoying the summer riding his bike before he returns to working on the mines. He doesn’t benefit from stereotyping anyone.

A police officer working the streets is driven by profiling which dissects his mind into targeting who should be fined or moved on and who should be left alone. It appears for many cops, the judgements of the job is in balance with the heaven and hell issue. What part of their life did they change to become so mentally heavy handed? Is it people’s experiences or hatred of particular social groups?

Perth police officers from the Metro Task Force at City Watch Police Station conduct a name check on a young person
Perth cops from the Metro Task Force conduct a name check on a young person

How do people benefit from issuing such critical statements about other people? Are they low on self-esteem and need to feel like they have the world at their fingertips? They command the power over the poor and those affected by social injustices. I am yet to see any proof of how classification-cruelty can enable you to have a better life, other than the financial proceeds of gossip magazines, bringing entertainment from those making mistakes in the spotlight.

If we could walk on the street and give five strangers a heartfelt compliment, wouldn’t the world be a better place rather than angry and shameful?

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