It’s cold in Australia during the month of August. Winter is not yet over, and while the days are sunny at night it can become bitterly cold. We all go home to a warm, hearty meal and crank our heaters to high.
But that’s not the case for everyone. There are many who find themselves on the streets, walking with the primary aim of finding shelter or food – when we walk to commute, or in my case, showing people around a city to learn about it. It’s been something I’ve thought about in detail as I observe life on the city’s streets every day.
Adelaide is a beautiful city rightfully deserving its repeated ranking in the world’s five most livable cities. I see this every day by using clean public transport, eating some of the world’s best food and walking around with ease. What I also notice is who else is walking around, and there are regulars I come across from day to day.
There is a man who sits on the same bench most days on King William Road, Adelaide’s main street. Dressed in black and likely in his late 30s, early 40s, he’s ragged with wispy hair and scraggly beard growth. He observes those walking past him, eyes wide yet filled with exhaustion. An ‘excuse me’ comes out with an upward inflection, questioning the passer-by. Always polite, he asks for any change. I know this not just from hearing it, but from being asked numerous times myself. I have given him food before that I was unable to eat, and some change, hoping it would help.
As I hold up my tips-based walking tour sign (what we call our ‘free walking tour’), I’ve been approached by a number of those in less fortunate situations than I. Most are generally curious in what I do, and always encouraging. One man who has said hello a few times tells me I need to keep going and believe in myself.
It’s amazing how those in the hardest of situations are often more positive towards others than those of us lucky to have a roof and a warm bed.
I have two friends directly involved with the Hutt St Centre and through this, I know about the great work the organisation provides. Those who have found themselves on the streets through varying circumstances are supported with food, finding affordable housing and even simple amenities like shower facilities. About 200 people go through the centre each day, and the Hutt St staff work tirelessly to make sure they all get the assistance they need.
The centre’s main fundraising event in the winter months is August’s Walk a Mile in My Boots, and it comes up on August 9 in 2019. Adelaide locals will come together to walk a mile of the city’s streets before breakfast to try and understand just a little bit about conditions homeless people face. It’s a great event to raise awareness for homelessness in Adelaide, a city where there are perceptions it barely exists.
Through Flamboyance Tours I hope to raise at least $250 by next week because this is a cause we can all get behind. Homelessness can happen to anyone at any point, and with a small donation to an organisation solely existing for pulling them out of it we can all make a big difference. What you might spend on three lunches during the week ($30) will give a person visiting the Hutt St Centre a hot breakfast and lunch for TWO WEEKS.
As owner of a local business, I want to do my bit to support another local entity. My eyes have been opened to homelessness in Adelaide through what I do, and this is a way I can help.
I hope you can help too by donating HERE.
Please share this post with friends so they can also help contribute to this important cause. And let us know if you’ve done the Walk a Mile in My Boots event before in the comments below.
Did you miss last week’s post? I reflected on the benefits of travelling in your 20s!