The invisibles

Yesterday winter descended with a vengeance and then just to rub our noses in it this morning started bright clear and warm. But I was out on a mission. I walked past much that was worth a photo. But I found what I was after.

There is not much special about this building except that it is directly opposite the Town Hall. No! I didn’t take a photo of the hall. But with my neat little telelens I zoomed in to a doorway on the footpath.

Then I walked up Bourke street.

Look through the glass just above the steam from the stylised coffee cup. Can you see him. Nobody else did. Can you see the fellow who almost trod on him? I zoomed in.

People just walked by.

Then I went down a little lane off Latrobe.

Nothing to see. Turned back to the main street.

The dog’s name is Bella. This bloke is from Edinburgh. Hasn’t been back for ten years. I gave him enough for breakfast.

It rained a lot last night. I don’t know where all the others were. I thought I would have seen about ten or fifteen.

Most Melbournians never see any of the fellows who sleep on the streets. The tourists probably do. But the tourists try to blend in with the locals, so they pretend they don’t see them either.

The invisible men.


25 thoughts on “The invisibles

    1. But probably, Andrew, the dog is the only friend they have. Being lonely and friendless for whatever reason, must be one of the saddest ways to exist. Being alone is fine – being lonely is a different thing.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. My sentiments entirely, and this bloke looks pretty young and healthy; and what I remember of Melbourne if you’re young and healthy, and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, you can always get a job!
      At least this bloke hasn’t got a ciggie hanging from his mouth, many of these homeless do. Where they get the money for that I’m damned if I know, cigarettes are more than $20 a pack of 20/25 I believe

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Lots of homeless here in Hawaiʻi.

    The County has a pretty good program to help get them off the street and there are a few outreach programs that provide transitional housing and help as well as regular wellness visits and assistance.

    However, there are core groups who basically prefer doing what they do. Because of the high tourist rates, they don’t do too badly (you can see them take “breaks” and check their smartphones). We’ve been here almost two years and we know who the regulars are. The others transition fairly quickly.

    There’s also a subcategory that are drug addicts and those — while they qualify for health checks and other services — don’t avail themselves of many of the services because they don’t want to give up the drugs. And, I do mean “want” not “can’t”.

    That said, there are families people with kids who are homeless for various reasons. We give to a charity that is volunteer-run and is geared toward providing the kids with decent clothes, medicine, and making sure they attend school and have enough to eat.

    It’s a problem, especially with the continuing divergence in income levels and the influx of foreign money (China and other booming areas) that is dumped here as an investment and has caused home prices to climb well outside of what most people can afford. Occasionally, as part of developers being given permits, they have to allocate a certain amount to homes that native Hawaiʻians can afford but even so, most local families have parents that work multiple jobs.

    As far as I can tell, it’s a growing problem pretty much everywhere and it’s a problem with few viable solutions.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. We just never know why a person is living on the streets. Can you imagine: no nice hot shower when you need it, your own toilet with a good supply of toilet paper, the ability to wash your clothes when you want to, choices for what you eat for each meal, and so many other tiny things we take totally for granted. And, it’s not hust the homeless, it’s those who don’t earn enough to have choices in those small things.

    We should try not to be judgmental, and if we’re not willing or able to give something concrete to the homeless, at least give them the courtesy of a nod, a smile, some eye contact.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t want to be excessively negative but here in Nottingham the police found out that of 200 beggars on the street, every single one was a professional making way, way more money than our minimum wage. A number of them lived in large houses in the suburbs. The test is not to give the beggar money but to go and buy him a burger. And then see what his reaction is, as my daughter found out. The best thing to do is to give your money to a charity such as the Salvation Army.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Same in Grimsby John. There is a regular beggar who sits in an underpass looking sorry for herself. It is well known that she has a comfortable flat and drives a nice car. I’d clear them off the streets with water cannon!


      1. I think there is a difference between the ‘professional’ beggar who is not too badly off and the genuine homeless who really do sleep on the streets. I know in Africa many of the beggars are organised by pretty nasty people who take most of their takings anyhow. But a homeless person can be different.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember this song from the 1970s. It saddens me that homelessness is still a problem. I (almost) always give a little something, if I can. Compassion in a few coins is brotherhood, sisterhood, love expressed.

    Sorry, this song makes me lyrical. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So much pain is invisible, even between two people who are friends, let alone between a passerby and someone they don’t know.

    How much can anyone open themselves up to the pain of the world and not end up overwhelmed by it?

    Remaining closed isn’t an option either.

    The balance?


  6. An awesome recording! And a heartbreaking reality here as well. I’m still on the side of acknowledging people’s presence, even though some may be scamming the system. Given our horrible economy here in the USA (great chasms between the haves and the have nots), the reality of homelessness (including entire families) is only getting worse. The song is a true tear-jerker, and the faces of the performers tell truth as well. Thanks for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s