Independent MP, Alex Greenwich is gathering signatures for a petition he intends to present to the NSW Government requesting they declare a State of Emergency on homelessness.  Greenwich recently took part in the SBS reality series, Filthy Rich And Homeless for which he was required to spend time pennyless on the streets, staying in run down boarding houses and crisis accommodation, and using his wits to get by. He spoke with people who were rendered homeless due to domestic violence, mental illness, misfortune, unemployment and abuse. What he learned was that there wasn’t any specific type of person who was likely to become homeless – it can happen to anyone – ordinary people hit by extraordinary bad luck. Homelessness affects the entire spectrum of society: elderly, middle-aged, teens, and even women with young children. It shows no deference to race, education level, gender, social status. Part of dealing with the problem is removing assumptions and stigma and encouraging empathy; however, the real solutions are much more pragmatic. With the number of homeless people in NSW now at almost 40,000 – the highest of any other state – there is a critical need for safe, decent, consistent housing and basic services. Greenwich draws comparison with the aftermath of a large scale natural disaster that can leave thousands of people in need of urgent response which is why he wants the government to call a State of Emergency.
To sign the petition, visit: http://www.alexgreenwich.com/stateofemergency

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