Image for A Christmas Carol

*Pic: Kim Peart addresses the gathering at the Invermay railway yard, attending the declaration of the polls for Bass and Lyons. IMAGE from here: http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5288945/declaration-of-the-polls-welcomes-new-faces-in-bass-and-lyons/?cs=95

First published March 18

Charles Dickens once wrote a story about a mean old man, and how he had a wake-up call from a couple of ghosts on Christmas Eve.

Ebenezer Scrooge knew the value of money and time, and was very mean, but he found his heart.

Are we any better than old miser Scrooge, when we allow fellow citizens to go homeless?

We are forcing good people into homelessness, and wrecking their lives.

Why?

To read of an older woman, who thought she had secure housing, being forced into homelessness by our scroogeness, is quite disturbing. ~
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-14/summit-on-tasmanian-housing-crisis-to-look-for-solutions/9544980

Children shouldn’t be forced onto the streets, and neither should anyone else.

Finland solved the homelessness problem, by providing homes, and we can do that. ~
https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2016/sep/14/lessons-from-finland-helping-homeless-housing-model-homes

So, what is our problem?

Do we need to exorcise our collective inner scrooge?

At the declaration of the polls for Bass and Lyons held in Launceston on Friday 16 March, I was allowed to address those present, including newly elected members of parliament, as a candidate in the Lyons election, as anyone who ran was invited to say a few words.

So after a humorous story about homeless letterboxes, which sparked some laughter from the audience, I declared my intention to run in Prosser, and that fixing homelessness by Christmas would be on the agenda.

My statement can be seen at the end of the film in this story ~
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5288945/declaration-of-the-polls-welcomes-new-faces-in-bass-and-lyons/?cs=95

And part of that statement went ~

After the election something else came up about homelessness and the housing crisis.
For me the campaign continues,
because I am entering the contest for Prosser,
and it’s going to be very fierce.
And I will be asking a question:
How can we fix the homelessness problem?
I will be looking for answers.
I will be holding many community meetings across the electorate,
and I will be listening.
And elected politicians will be hearing from me
Elected politicians know they hear from me,
because I write to them,
and I will be asking this question:
Can we end homelessness by Christmas?
Thankyou

Ending homelessness by Christmas can happen, because it is possible, and we can draft a plan to make it so.

That is our collective choice.

Ending homelessness will hinge on citizens calling on politicians to show leadership.

Any citizen who wants homelessness and the housing crisis to continue and grow, can choose to do nothing and be silent, and politicians will apply a few bandaids and move on to more pressing matters.

If citizens decide that it would be rather good to deliver a permanent end to homelessness by Christmas, then write to politicians and tell them what you think, and bring the concern to community meetings that search for working solutions.

I am prepared to attend a meeting anywhere on the island to fight for this, and send the mood of the meeting to Tasmanian politicians.

Every politician has a can of oil for squeaky wheels.

Let’s cause every elected member to order that oil by the drum.

Our team will be investigating how Finland solved homelessness, and therefore, how Finland does not have a housing crisis.

Who will be organising a community meeting and inviting a few politicians along?

We can make this year an absolutely amazing Christmas, a present to all homeless people, of a home.

If we do this in Tasmania, we will be looking to the rest of Australia to meet their Christmas ghost, and find their heart.

What if the reading of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ was held in every political office in the nation?

Would that help drive out our inner scrooge across this land?

• Tasmanian Times article by Kim Peart exploring ways to solve homelessness and fix the housing crisis ~
Fixing the Housing Crisis
15 March 2018
http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/weblog/article/fixing-the-housing-crisis-/

ABOUT Kim Peart ~   In 2007 Kim was listed among Tasmania’s top 200 movers and shakers for “An urban bushland conservationist who has worked tirelessly over the years to maintain walking tracks and protect wildlife from the encroachment of bush-front housing developments.” Kim is campaigning for an Australian Convict Trail, with the Tasmanian leg running from the ferry in Devonport to Port Arthur, along with foot and cycle paths by Tasmania’s highways and roads. After being at the launch of an Australian Space Agency last September, Kim is seeking ways to create employment, careers and new enterprise in Tasmania with the global space industry.

Authorised by: J Bolton, 39A Bridge Street, Ross

I am at a loss.  How has lack of housing been swept under the carpet?