Editorial - Monday, April 7: From home to the street

AFTER growing up in the country and moving to the city when I was 17, I was shocked by the number of homeless people you would see on the street.

It just wasn't something I had been exposed to before.

Since moving back to regional areas after 10 years living in various cities, I have probably again become quite complacent about homelessness being an issue.

I'll never forget being at university and writing a story about homelessness. I spoke to a number of people who were living rough - for a number of reasons. And while there were people who were drug addicts and alcoholics who had found themselves on the streets due to substance abuse, many of the stories involved people who had health problems, found themselves unable to work and didn't have a support system in place to help them out.

These were people who had for many years held down fulltime jobs, had homes and cars, liked eating out and had other life luxuries but, somehow found themselves with nothing.

In light of the upcoming awareness day at the Grafton TAFE, we have been talking about the issue a bit as a news team. We will head along and find out a bit more about homelessness in the Valley and let you know what's happening.

Meanwhile, in Saturday's editorial about Regional Express Airlines, I mentioned the non-existent Yamba airport. I actually meant to write Ballina. It must have been a Friday afternoon!

Shannon Newley

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