I found this mystifying and couldn’t get my head around it – about homelessness in New York city. This is America, I reminded myself, it is one of the richest and powerful countries in the world. Is this what “homelessness” is all about? If so maybe we’re better off in some of the poor countries in the world – like Haiti, Cuba, Bangladesh and so on where they don’t have sophisticated system of government because of corruption and greed. But then, I stopped myself. This is not a constructive way of thinking. This isn’t about comparing Haiti, Cuba, Bangladesh or the Developing countries versus Western or Developed countries. This is about the social issues or social injustice that we are creating for ourselves. There is approximately 600,000 Americans and 300,000 Canadians who are currently homeless today. We are faced with this serious problem and it will continue to rise but it is kept quite unlike disasters where it makes headlines in television or in front-pages of newspapers. Having this thought in mind, I began to question how this problem of homelessness begun or exist and why it still persist? We do have a crisis or problem and this is about the lives and lifestyles of people that we are leaving behind. We should be learning from this crisis to make life easier in the longer term.
It was about mid-afternoon when we finished our coffee and delicious cakes. As we departed and I made my way to my hotel. As always, the streets of Manhattan is always very busy and it is the major hub for millions of visitors from all walks of life. I couldn’t stopped thinking about Frank and Hissy’s commitment to charity work and their observation on homelessness in the streets of Manhattan. It came back to me every day as I step out of my home and drive to and from work, I began to realise that, there are homeless people everywhere in the city where I live. They made be invisible in the eyes of people as we are constantly busy with our lives but never take a time to look-around-us. Like America, most of the countries around the world, we are faced with this problem of homelessness, it is a crisis and it is imperative that we need to create an alternative way to solve this problem. My friend Frank and Hissy contribute to solving the problem from an individual perspective but it is not solving the problem or going any further in solving the problem. We need to work, collectively, to make aware to the institutions, government and politicians in regional, state, federal or even global level to tackle this issue of homelessness.
This is a complex issue and at the same time, we live a very complex lifestyle. This means that our lifestyles are rapidly changing and so as increasing level on homelessness due to drugs, alcoholism, domestic violence, wars, unemployment, bad investments, corporate greed, natural disasters and so on. This form of homelessness is not only created in one form but in various ways. We should not be hiding poverty and masking oppression. We need to realise that homelessness can never be someone else’s problem and we need to put our heads together as a community and country whether in Australia or elsewhere. We need to heal the world, to make it a better place.