Warm hearts and cold faces

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Imagine you are just back home from work at the end of a long day. You enter the safe, familiar, four-walled boundaries of your home. It’s time to have some dinner, spend time with your family or housemates, vent out some of your frustration about the trials of the day, and perhaps also have a bit of laugh as you flick through the channels or start scrolling through Facebook and YouTube. And then someone knocks on your door. You open the door to find an unfamiliar but friendly, cheerful, smiling face that asks you, “Would you mind sleeping outside on the street tonight?”

Yes, it may be a fictional question for many of us who are fortunate enough to return to a home every evening. But that’s the fate which awaits hundreds of thousands of people in Australia alone. And the figure would be in millions at a global level. The cold doesn’t vanish just because you are sleeping outside, and neither does the rain.

You might say, “Okay, it’s no doubt unfortunate. But what can I do about it?” As I have said previously in this blog, age-old questions will remain age-old questions and don’t often have once-and-for-all, age-old answers. Solutions can come from the innovative efforts of local elected bodies, non-governmental organizations, celebrity champions and each of us being curious, and taking an interest to look over the horizon and lend a helping hand.

Nick Mescher, CEO of UXC Consulting from Australia, is braving the cold for the third year in Melbourne, through his participation in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout challenge. Well done, Nick, for your continued support by answering with an affirmative yes to that proverbial knock on your door.

You can help by spreading the word, brainstorming sustainable long-term solutions with other like-minded people including myself, donating or just nominating your own boss anonymously to rise up to the challenge.

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