Have your say :: Student voices

Reflection by Corey Dunn :: Year 9 :: Bentleigh Secondary College

Today we went to Urban Seed in the city. We left at recess and met at the Bentleigh Station, we caught the train to flinders street station and had an hour or so to get lunch (Maccas and Nando’s ice cream). We met Miss Santos outside the station, and when we were all there, we walked down to a church where we met Ashley (an ex Bentleigh student), and she told us about Urban Seed and what they do. She asked us about how we feel in the city and what types of people we think live around here. She told us a story of how the church told three homeless guys that they could live in one of their empty floors, but they had to get to know the locals, this meant everyone, from the local hobos and druggies to the businessmen and commuters.

Ashley then took us on a walk around the local area; It was amazing how quickly the scenery changed, from quaint little side streets with tiny shops to wide open shopping centres with huge shops and all the big brands. First we stopped in one of the graffiti streets and Ashley told us about how they played cricket in this street during summer.

We walked for a while till we stopped in a dirty little dead end alley where Ashley told us about how this was one of the Heroin “hot spots” when it was big in the city. She then told us a story of how a man she knew ran away and became addicted to Heroin when he was twelve and found a girlfriend who died in his arms on New Years Day, it was a really sad story, we walked around the corner to a place where Ashley said people still shot up Heroin and how Urban Seed tried to minimise the harm Heroin addicts did to themselves, not by trying to stopping it but by putting a sharps waste bin and a tap with clean water.

Finally we went to the Credo Cafe, the Credo Cafe is a small cafe deep in the city which is open to everyone, from the homeless to well known businessmen; Ashley told us stories of what goes on around the Cafe and the friends she’d met over the years.

Urban Seed does an amazing job and i really admire what they do.

Have your say :: Student voices

Reflection by Lachlan Halliwell :: Year 9 :: Bentleigh Secondary College

On Friday the 31st of August choices went to Urban Seed in the city. When we arrived we had a look around the church where people gather on Sundays. We took a walk around the city and went down a few alley ways; we arrived at an alleyway where we were told about the heroin crisis that used to exist in Melbourne. The alleyway was also an entrance to the Credo Cafe where anyone can come for a free lunch no matter what their standard of living is.

The people at urban seed are very caring and open minded people who help anyone in need. I learnt a lot about the work they do there. The experience gave me a good insight into the life of a heroin addict and what times were like during the heroin crisis in Melbourne. From Urban Seed I took away the knowledge I need to make wise decisions if I were ever to come across a situation like the ones we were told about.

I think that Urban Seed was one of the better activities we have done in choices and I learnt quite a lot about what happens in the city and Collins Street.

In the Youth and Schools team at Urban Seed we like to talk.. and talk and talk.. Mainly because we want to share some of the great stuff we have learned through many years of hanging out with people who are different from us.

Sometimes groups of students want to interview us and ask us questions that relate to stuff they’re learning at school. It could be for a project or as part of their school’s city exposure week.

I met with a group of year 9s today. They wanted to chat about homelessness and what it is like for us to hang out with homeless people so I did my best to answer their questions and I thought you might like to hear a couple of my responses too!

Q. Do you feel self conscious when you’re walking down the street with a homeless person?? Do you feel like people are looking at you funny??

A. Well, that’s a tricky question. Did you know that not all homeless people “look” homeless?? Some my homeless friends would not really stand out in the crowd at all. Just today I had lunch with a guy who has been homeless for the best part of a year. He is living in a refuge right now. You’d never guess he was homeless as he is only 22 and dresses pretty normally. Nice hat, nice shoes, he’s clean etc. But he’s homeless. 

That said, sometimes I do hang out with homeless people who fit the scruffy homeless stereotype and when I do, (to be really honest) sometimes people do stare or give us funny looks. But then I remember that this is how it feels to be different.. to be one of “THEM”. And those feelings of discomfort and awkwardness are for me, a fleeting feeling. But for someone who sleeps rough and/or looks “homeless”, this is what they face every day. 

Q. What are some of the main reasons people end up homeless?

A. Homelessness is often the result of many different factors – some of these are family breakdown, abuse, trauma, disability, addictions, illness and poverty. For the 45% of Australia’s 100,000 + homeless people that are under 25 years of age, domestic violence is the number one cause. 

Q. What are some of the biggest hurdles to getting back on track?

A. I think one of the biggest ones is not having an address. There are many hurdles but the simple fact of not having an address means that people can’t get any government payments (as it’s one of the first questions on the paperwork), can’t get a job (what is written on the top of your resume??… yup! Your address!), and don’t have anywhere to have mail sent so even if they did get a job it would be very difficult to receive correspondence. 

Thanks for the questions guys. I’d love to answer more so if you have any please send them through to ashley.carr@urbanseed.org  

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Xavier Rudd- Home

Everyone has the right…

“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of themselves and their family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond their control.”

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

International Day of the Girl :: October 11th 2012

Research has shown that simply being born a girl can leave a child at a huge disadvantage in life. In the poorest societies a girl faces greater risk of malnutrition, hunger and disease compared to her brothers. She will have fewer opportunities for an education and career. In many developing countries 1 out of 7 girls marries before age 15.

Other research has also shown that investing in girls and young women has a disproportionately beneficial effect in alleviating poverty – not only for girls but for their families, communities and entire countries. Girls who spend an extra year at school will on average increase their lifetime income by 10 to 20 per cent. 

(Information from http://www.plan.org.au/mediacentre/mediareleases/un_declares_international_day_of_the_girl)

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Could you live on $2 per day?