Merry Christmas! (it's not for everyone)
Updated: Dec 16, 2018
I love Sydney. Seriously, it’s an amazing city and I am SO lucky to live here. The climate, the Harbour, beaches, galleries, theatres, pubs, cafes and restaurants … and the list goes on.
But in a city of 4 million people there is a significant percentage of us for whom this Christmas season will not be a time of family, friends and festivities.
For many months during 2018, as I drove back into the CBD from the inner west, I observed a couple who had set up a home in a small, isolated traffic island underneath an overpass and right beside the entrance to Eastern Distributor tunnel, surrounded on all sides by chaotic traffic. A small tent, a cooker and it seemed a fridge (I was fascinated to know where they got the power from). I tried to find them on foot a couple of weeks ago to say ‘Hi’ and try to offer something meaningful. I wandered to the bottom of Bathurst Street and tried to find how they accessed their little oasis. Eventually, from a walkway across Harbour Street I spied the spot, but alas they were gone. Moved on by the authorities I presume. I was too late.
Through circumstances that are more often no fault of their own, there are men, women and children enduring homelessness, poverty and mental health challenges. For many of these people Christmas will be a really tough time. We have all heard this message before and I’m distressed that it sounds clichéd. But I believe that we all know someone whose life or family has been touched in some way by these issues.
I really don’t want anyone to ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ this blog. However, do please consider maybe making a small contribution to an organisation or charity that will be reaching some of these Sydney-ites over the Chrissie/New Year season. I’ve popped two possible links below, there are many other wonderful and worthy charities who will reach these people too.
Alternately, a call to someone who is alone can sometimes mean the world. Overcoming that “Awww sh%t, I’m not sure” moment and hitting the dial button on your phone can be a really wonderful thing .. maybe even for you too!
Cheers and best wishes to you and your families for Christmas and a wonderful 2019. And to the couple from the traffic island oasis, I do hope that you have found a new home that is safe, secure and you find some festive cheer.