Your loving family.
Your ready internet connection.
Your roof over your head.
Your next meal.
How many of these things do you take for granted?
Youth homelessness. It’s the elephant in the room that political pundits aren’t talking enough about. But according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 105,000 people sleep rough on our streets every night.
Some are escaping abuse or violence. Some are there because of addiction. And sadly, some have never known anything else.
The truth is that many of us will never experience homelessness. In fact maybe you and the people you know have never felt the level of desperation, helplessness or fear that comes with an unstable home environment.
But we’ll be the lucky ones. Because the stark truth is that homelessness is a reality for too many Australians.
At The Good Xmas Trail, we know there’s no magic bullet that stops homelessness. And we’re not asking you to start your own crusade (but if you’re inspired, go right ahead). Ultimately, it’s a complex issue that’s too weighty for any one person to shoulder alone.
But thankfully, there are already lots of good folks fighting the good fight. And even better, there’s power in numbers. In other words, if we each pitch in a little bit, it’ll add up to a helluva lot.
So with this spirit in mind, here’s a handful of social enterprises tackling homelessness that could do with bit of backing from you this Christmas.
Get some cool threads and help change someone’s life
If you are on the lookout for some on-trend active wear, the legends at The Legend Project are right on the pulse. With every sports bag, hoodie, t-shirt or wristband you buy, a bag of clothing and other vital necessities goes to someone living rough on our streets.
The street(art)wear at Hosier Hoodies also makes for unique and stylish gifts that keep on giving. With each hoodie you purchase, $20 will go to crisis accommodation in Melbourne. No strings attached.
Indulge in some genuine food for thought
If you’re all tuckered out from your shopping spree, why not recharge with a scrumptious snack?
But if you’re not is such a hurry and would rather more of a sit-down affair, Indigenous restaurant and caterer Charcoal Lane has you covered.
The sad and silent truth is that Indigenous Australians are over-represented in the homeless population. What’s worse, 4 in 10 Indigenous homeless people are children and adolescents. Charcoal Lane is tackling this head-on by providing mentoring and employment opportunities to young Indigenous people.
Start 2017 on the right (bicycle) track
When it comes to addressing homelessness, prevention is key.
Ride the Night, Australia’s biggest night time cycling event, will be in Melbourne on 28 January 2017. You can get a ticket and switch things up a gear to help break the cycle of youth disadvantage. And see the world from a different point of view.
One final thought, how about making a new year’s resolution to take part in Febfast. By committing to a month without alcohol or sugar you can raise donations to this worthwhile cause and help underprivileged young Australians take control of their health and wellbeing.
At The Good Xmas Trail, we’re all about making the little things count.
By making small changes to what you eat, drink, buy and do this Christmas, you can ‘do good’ in a big way. Together, we can make a difference to thousands of people’s lives. So take the first step and become a Trail Blazer.
This article first appeared in our monthly newsletter The Gazette. Sign up here and never again miss your monthly dose of good stuff.