Updated: Apr 3, 2020
We brought our creative community together!
To end 2019, my fellow creative Bryon Brochmann and I decided to throw a party, but not just any party. This event raised much needed funds to assist people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. We partnered with LAUNCH HOUSING, who are one of Victoria's largest providers of housing and support services. They are a secular and independent community agency formed in July 2015. Their mission is to end homelessness. They provide housing, support, education and employment services to thousands of people in metropolitan Melbourne.
Why LAUNCH HOUSING?
Every now and then when I'm racing through the city, I make an effort to stop and chat to someone who is sat down on the side of the street, asking for spare change. I'll buy them lunch, and ask them how they feel about telling me their story. Every person I've met in this situation has been willing to tell me their backstory, from mental health conditions, to losing loved ones or losing their livelihood, or they just grew up on the streets and keep falling back into it. Some of these people are drug addicted, but you'd be surprised by how many aren't.
Every story pulls at my heart because they all have a common factor, these people feel forgotten by their community.
Recently a homeless woman I was talking to told me that she experienced a string of difficult circumstances that led to her being homeless. She said that she tried living in crisis housing but there were people abusing drugs or behaving violently, and she didn't want to be around that environment. As people walk past her on the street, they often call her names and say horrible things to her, but she said that nothing they say is anywhere near as bad as the horrible things she says to herself everyday, then she showed me her arms and the multitude of criss crossing scars of where she had been self harming.
I asked her what she needs from the community to help her get back on her feet. She said she just wants a safe home and that the most helpful organisation is Launch Housing, because they come to where Melbourne's homeless community are set up, and they help these individuals through providing food, and personal items, as well as job support, and most importantly, getting these people into homes where they can feel safe.
The reality is that it's easier for the rest of the world to assume that every homeless person has done this to themselves, and while there are some people who are drug addicted, or live on the streets to take advantage of others, there are many, many people in this situation who are simply powerless to help themselves and most are suffering from severe mental illness. Supporting organisations like Launch Housing is crucial in helping these people grasp a better life.
Creative people can help!
People in the creative industries aren't necessarily the most financially abundant, most of us do what we love for work, which means there's not much financial stability. But creative people are defiantly some of the most empathetic humans, which means we are in the perfect position to understand the pain of others and translate that pain so the rest of the word can understand it also. Drawing awareness to the organisations that can help our community grow, is a logical way to show our support and make a difference.
As each year passes, the arts are faced with more government cuts, and none of us want to give up our day job of being creative, so it's up to us to come together as a community and support each other in our creative endeavours, while also supporting a cause that can change lives.
100% of the ticket sales went directly to Launch Housing so this event was run on a completely voluntary basis.
Alicia Pavlis is a writer, actor, musician, filmmaker, photographer, visual artist, and content producer. She is passionate about progressive topics and is also an advocate for mental health awareness. All writing, artwork and content expressed on this site are Alicia's own views and intellectual property, protected by Australian copyright law, reproduction, distribution or publication without Alicia Pavlis' permission is prohibited.
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