We had such an incredible day on-set for our first commissioned film, working with the Lighthouse Foundation to develop a story showing the many faces of homelessness. It’s such an important story to tell. I think so many people have a stereotype around homeless people & why they are in the situations that they are.
“Oh they’ve ended up there because of their addictions”, “I could never become homeless”, “Homeless people are just too lazy to work to get a job”. These statements are just not true, with 44% of those homeless, youth under the age of 25 & nearly 1/2 of those homeless being female, the stereotype of the middle-aged man who’s an alcoholic drinking out of a brown paper bag is simply not true.
Hearing from a university lecturer from Melbourne University who ended up homeless because she was no longer safe at home from her husband & then had her car with all her possessions in it stolen and was left to sleep at Melbourne Central. Or talking to the 16 year old girl who experienced things that no one deserves to go through, especially by those who were meant to love her and is now on the streets because there’s no one in the world she can trust. Homelessness is not a choice, it’s a product of circumstance’s which are often out of the person’s control. It’s natural to have misconceptions and when you walk through the city you may see people who ‘fit your stereotype’ however we can’t paint everyone with the same brush and the stats truly don’t lie, there are so many different faces to homelessness.
Along with providing functional care to those on the streets, my dream for Mobilise is to continue to raise awareness about the situations that many people face daily. I want to start a conversation for change, we’ve come so far as a society and are accepting of so many, so why is it that we are still so quick to judge the most vulnerable people. The reality is that these are people just like us, they feel and see everything. Hearing stories from people yesterday that they ‘feel like a lampost’ as people just walk past them everyday is difficult. Something as simple as a smile to acknowledge someone might make their day, if we all did a little bit more for others we’d live in a better world.
Having the opportunity to work with the Lighthouse Foundation, a true pioneer of Youth Homelessness across Australia was eye-opening. To hear some of the stories from the children that have come through their program & been empowered to seek a better life, and talking to the carers who have seen it all was insightful. The work they do is incredible as they are on the front-line everyday with teens who are on the edge and they truly are saving lives. It’s left me inspired knowing there are so many people out there working so hard to make a difference.
This issue is far more complex than I ever anticipated when I started Mobilise however I truly am encouraged by the work and passion of everyone in this industry and change is coming. We look forward to bringing you this film, painting a picture about what some people experience while providing a reality check for us all that many of the problems we have are are insignificant in comparison to what others face, it’s important to continue to refine our perspective and appreciate how blessed we are.
Big shoutout to the wizard behind the camera & our head of creative, Chris King! I’ll leave you with a quote that a young girl from Lighthouse said to me yesterday “After going through so much I didn’t want to be alive anymore. Then someone believed in me and gave me an opportunity and reminded me that I am loved and valued and that’s all that I needed to change my life”.
Why don’t we be the generation that empowers each other? We can be the change.