Charity and Philanthropy with Colour Texture Shape
Don’t send money to the Colour Texture Shape Philanthropic Trust because “trust” is the issue. Guarantee that, through your own trust and discretion, you can guide 100% of your donations to where it is needed the most.
No T-shirt, no thank you letter, no grandeous anthem, no bumper sticker, no affiliation badge, no gimmicks, no particular day of the year, no pat on the back for your generosity and no squandering as well as profiteering from your kindness and gullibility.
Gullibility, wherein one minor instance of an unwitting mistake, when the proceeds of Band Aid (1984) bought a fleet of dilapidated used trucks. The semi-trailers, I think there were 21 and only 4 worked, bought to distribute food to starving Ethiopians during a famine. Desperately trying to make deliveries only to find there was nobody qualified to service or repair them in Africa.
The above is one instance that is indicative of the industry and where money could be better spent. Money better spent where it is truly needed the most, generally on your front doorstep. What of the charities that, at the recent time of publication, are included in the most profitable businesses in Australia, i.e., not for profits.
In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
You don’t need to go to India to give a $1 coin to a beggar when if you were genuine about donating money you could bank transfer the money to a beggar. The money you saved on airfares and accommodation alone could feed a small army of Indian beggars for a year.
While AU$1 will go a long way in India, your travel costs could not only feed a family of beggars for a year but could set them up for life. A micro-business can take them and their children as well as their children’s children out of the cycle of begging for generations. Direct action is what is needed.
Australia is a third world country despite the antiquated term if you consider the living standards of our most underprivileged and marginalised people. Our government seeks to manipulate, by controlling the economic resources of the most marginalised of marginalised people, through social security. These people are most often indigenous Australians with mental health problems related to alcohol abuse, at least this is the justification used for the manipulation and control. The government, elected by the people, are OK with this.
What of your own back yard, Australia has an extremely big and largely unpopulated back yard. A back yard whose population also includes beggars, most often somehow sanitised by the words ‘street people’ or ‘homeless’. People who are sleeping under bridges, in the streets under sheltered alcoves and hidden in relatively safe lanes. Occasionally they get a room for the night if they can raise the money and get to the hostel before the curfew, 8:30 pm. The hostel is only feasible if it is not full.
Direct action is what is needed in the form of sub-micro philanthropy and better government actions. Not government actions where three-fifths of the welfare budget is spent on administration only to provide unusually poor customer service. Customer service where it typically takes an hour on the phone before you speak to somebody at Centrelink. When you do get through they often can’t answer your questions or you have been routed to the wrong department. At 5 pm they hang up on you, regardless of whether you’re mid-sentence or not.
While I am tired of blaming the government, give credit where credit is due. Street people have a right to vote and a right to exercise a vote. Giving weight to proportions, it might be prudent to consider the following: While voting is important and deciding who shall govern the country, state or local council for the next political term is important. To put things into perspective, when you have no food or shelter for the next few days you could be forgiven for being distracted and forgetting about the fine you will get for not voting. You may also have neglected to update your current address with the electoral commission to no fixed address. I’m not sure how you would vote in local council elections with no fixed address, I imagine it is similar to state elections.
I’m also not 100% sure how people who live on the street are considered in government data like the census. Having no fixed address makes it hard to capture the full extent of the homeless. When, of the window the census measures, there is nowhere to drop the census form off to or pick up from. Therefore estimations are used. I imagine estimations are done much like how animals are counted in the wild. The estimations must be based on some logic and reasoning I assume. How this is done I don’t know but if you have a better idea I’d like to know?
What of social security, it is popularly held that these people can sort themselves out by social security support. Upon talking to a street person you might find out this is not as simple as filling out a form, waiting for the processing and withdrawing the funds from an ATM.
First, you need documentation or proof of identity, should you not have the standard 100 points of proof of identity it is more difficult. You may have fled your house quickly without documentation in the light of your violent and psychologically abusive living conditions.
Should you have documentation, it doesn’t necessarily correlate with your latest living conditions because you now have no fixed address. Gas bills, water bills, electricity bills, your license should you drive, are all obsolete or requiring updating.
In Queensland, you may have the necessary 100 points of basic documentation; a passport, birth certificate, driver’s license or Medicare card and combination thereof. If the license and birth certificate are missing then you don’t have 100 points. If you have a driver’s license and birth certificate or driver’s license and passport you qualify but you still need a fixed address. The driver’s license may be of use, the passport (if you have one at all is definitely of use, perhaps it is still valid from your last trip to Paris or London) and the Medicare card is helpful. Regardless you need 100 points for confirmation of identity and, more importantly, an address.
What do you do?
You need a fixed address for four weeks to be able to successfully apply for social security and if you have left your past address, after three months, you are legally no longer able to use that past address on your license, in Queensland. You could couch surf or use a friend’s address while the going is good, that would be handy to establish a fixed address.
You still need documentation of this to gain 100 points of identity to apply for social security. Unless your friend is willing to put your name on relevant documentation you have no proof of a fixed address yet. Since your license is not updatable because you must provide a fixed address, your logical option is a statutory declaration to declare your accommodation circumstances. Should your statutory declaration indicate you a) live under a railway bridge in Brisbane b) an alcove at the front of Brisbane’s Hugo Boss store c) a laneway behind the Queensland National Arts Centre, you really have little chance of getting social security. You are under oath with the statutory declaration and subject to a fine of up to nearly $100,000 in Victoria, at this time of publication.
So you beg until your circumstances change or eat out of bins to survive or food boxes from charities or combination thereof. You could go to a soup kitchen but these generally provide one meal a day and that is soup, as the name suggests.
If you have never been to a soup kitchen I can highly recommend it at least once in your life. The food is really quite good. Be humble though because, while you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, if you are the silk purse type dressed up as a sow’s ear, it may be construed as a bit deceptive. This construal may be because unless you can take your carefully well-attended teeth out you will be obvious anyway, so why pretend?
The ravages of long-term poverty take a toll on the mind and body. These people may be comparatively destitute but they still have their pride. If you can reciprocate by openly displaying your pride you could be seen as equals. Soup kitchens are not a spectacle and it is felt that it is better to come as you are than save your embarrassment about any disparity between the rich and poor. You may even like to leave a small donation, at least enough to cover the cost of your meal. You can easily become a regular there, even if unwillingly, given the right circumstances.
The disparity between rich and poor is easily determined when the shoe is on the other foot.
Give small to make someone’s day.
Give medium to make someone’s week.
Give big time to make someone’s month.
Give extraordinarily to turn a person’s life around,
money can’t buy this alone!
If in doubt about the person’s situation and intentions then get to know them before you give. When you do give you will set up a relationship where they find you and you find them.
Please, I beg you. Don’t give if you are quite sure it is going to make the situation worse. There is more than one way to give. By not giving you may just save their life. If in doubt generate some alternative ways to give.
Give securely, if you are still in doubt about their situation and intentions, if all they are asking for is money for food, take them out for dinner or buy them take-aways. At dinner or while waiting for take-aways to be cooked, you can discuss how both your lives happened to cross, here and now. It won’t take much time out of your day. Should you see them again then you have established a relationship of benefit, should things have checked out.
If they’re asking for money for food, but not hungry, you might like to question that. They may be thinking of later on in the day, tomorrow or even the next day. Alternatively, they might be satisfied with enough money for food while trying to save $24 for accommodation on a cold, windy and rainy winter’s night in Melbourne. Having no cooking facilities means they have to eat out or live off cold tinned food as well as selective uncooked fruit and vegetables. They need to cover the cost of food too, that is pretty essential.
Apparently sleeping under the stars on a warm summer’s night, in Melbourne, is quite pleasant. I’ve done it in the security of my own backyard and I could guess you’ve probably been camping too, maybe not in Flag Staff Gardens. You may have fallen asleep on a sandy beach as the sun sets. Perhaps fallen asleep on a blanket in a park, surrounded by autumn leaves. Only for some, it’s not the occasion of a holiday or picnic, it’s every night.
I hate to pull on your harpe strings but there are only so many blankets, along with all your worldly possessions, that you can fit into a shopping trolley or backpack. At four degrees celsius at 5:00 am in winter, when it is blowing a storm, it could be life and death particularly for a child or an elderly person.
Can you spare some change?
OK …next time I’ll ask you from behind
Michael Roach – as seen on the cover of the New York Edition of Time Magazine.
Be the Change
If you struggle with the above then start small by giving some loose change. Your loose change will change your life. You will be one dollar poorer but also unfathomably richer by investing in your local community.
If investing in your community means a desperate homeless person greets you in the street instead of mugging you then that dollar is well invested. The return is extraordinary, a safer environment for you and your neighbourhood and you’ve made a friend. Call it insurance and consider how much you pay to insure your car or house and contents by comparison to insuring your neighbourhood.
If you really don’t like them or them hanging around your neighbourhood, give them more money so they can find somewhere more secure to live.
They may just appear to be a person in your neighbourhood that sits around all day watching people come and go, occasionally asking you for a dollar. However, you can be pretty sure that by sitting around all day, watching the people come and go they will soon know everybody’s machinations in the neighbourhood. If anything is going down in your neighbourhood, that person will either know or know about it. Who knows the streets better than a person that lives on the streets, I ask you?
A potentially very valuable asset you want on your team!