Everyday #Adelaide No. 333 (Autumn/Winter) ~ Meet Dylan, Tamika, Marika, Brayden, Chris & Marcus (not in picture). They are not stars on Instagram; they are not even stars in their own lives. But today, they are stars in this small space and some of you will now know that they are members of our society, that they exist. This evening I walked past these young people. I stopped and asked the simple question: “Have you guys had anything to eat today?” None of them had. I explained that I am trying to bring awareness to the homeless people in my city and help in a small way with their most immediate need – food. I had a chat with them whilst waiting for the food. Ranging between ages 15 to 20, all of them are homeless because they have left violent and abusive homes. All have dropped out of school – it’s no wonder. They were all babies and children once, and they didn’t ask to be born into such circumstances. (continued below) We talked about the organisations that they can go to for help, which they do during the day – but it’s shelter that is lacking. They remain in a group to fend off other older and rougher homeless people. I could see from their eyes: the gratitude to be treated with respect and dignity. They are largely ignored … We avert our eyes because we don’t want to know. ~Some time ago, I made the decision that I was going to commit $20 a week to someone I saw in need. A small amount to get them what they needed most urgently at the time, be it food, a blanket or even shoes. Not cash for smokes or alcohol. I was motivated after I had taken a photo of a homeless man without shoes on a very cold and wet day (Everyday Adelaide No. 284). ~ I do not do this to bring attention to myself. I do this because it’s important to me to help. I cannot solve their problems and I cannot save them. But I can accord them compassion, respect and dignity – to let them know someone cares – that they are part of our human collective still. I would be grateful if you see this post, to share it to your #Facebook or Google+ or your blogs. Why? In the hope that it will inspire others. Donating to charity is great. But we are often one step removed from the reality. In a time when there is so much conflict, so many selfies, so many of us inspired to gain material things, the 15-30 minutes of time it takes to make someone feel like they count means a lot to them. ~ I may never see Dylan, Tamika, Marika, Brayden, Chris and Marcus again and if I do, I would shake all their hands as I did tonight and also give them hugs as I did. They are human and need to be loved as well.