AFTER twice losing his mining job in Western Australia, Steve Harvey was faced with a choice: become homeless or start a campaign.
Above: rain, hail or shine; Harvey in Warragul on Tuesday. Photo by William PJ Kulich.
First published in the 25 September 2015 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
So on 15 June he set out on foot from the western town of Mandurah toward Sydney. With a swag of gear weighing over 30kg on his back he meant business, and has been busy raising funds for homelessness charity Swags for Homeless ever since.
“Instead of making it about me, I wanted to make it about someone else, and because I couldn’t find work I was going to become homeless and wanted to support the homeless cause,” Harvey told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen when he arrived in Warragul on Tuesday.
Harvey started his trip to highlight the plight of homeless people in Australia and has received a terrific response.
“Everyone has been trying to get behind me and helping me get from A to B,” he said.
“It’s the fourth month now and I haven’t even had to sleep on the street for a month. It was designed to give people a bit of a glimpse of what it’s like to be homeless but people have been so kind and invited me into their houses and given me showers and meals.”
On his way Harvey has met many homeless people who he says just want to be treated like human beings. Asked what the issues they have identified are, he said there was no consistency in tackling homelessness in Australia.
“Some places will support you until a certain point and then they stop, and that’s generally where these people fall apart,” he said.
“We need… someone who helps them all the way from A to B without stopping half way. There’s nobody who covers that full range, and many are like ‘we’ll help you out once you are able to get a house, but not before it.'”
While in Warragul he was recognised by a stranger – not easy behind a heavy jacket, cap and sunglasses – and given $10 to help his unfunded trip.
You can donate to Harvey and Swags for Homeless via his Facebook page, facebook.com/harveyswalk.
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