Monday, 13 August 2012

Denied a bed at the church by the ACT Government...

Canberra is still in the depths of winter - by Australian standards at least: we don't actually ever really get snow on the ground in the city here, so a little creative journalism aside, not really actually 'Siberianesq', but deep frosts are still the order most days, with the odd plunge to minus seven or so. 

Apparently we can blame the cold on our founding fathers' belief that a cold climate fosters genius, while a warmer one would lead to degeneracy.

Not too much genius - or compassion - in evidence in the Territory Government however, with the news that they have been blocking the efforts of a number of local churches to open their halls to the homeless over winter.

The churches wanted to open their halls to those sleeping rough on a  rotation basis.  The problem is that the church halls lack showers and some may not comply with fire standards necessary for 'accomodation'. 

So they applied for an exemption from the Territory Government.

And were knocked back because, apparently, this extreme secularist mob were concerned at the idea of volunteers - instead of trained professional staff - dealing with homeless people.



A Canberra Observer said...

Risk management (against liability) has got to the point of absurdity.

And as you point out, probably not helped (!) by the ultra-secular Canberra apparatchiks

Felix said...

Well, it's on a par with the ACT Government's policy on unborn children.

The ACT Government believes that it may be better to kill unborn children than have them be born with imperfect health or enter an imperfect family.

A Canberra Observer said...

Sadly, Felix, it is not only the ACT Government but a VERY large proportion of the Australian (and all the West?) population that believe that is not really acceptable to carry to term any baby suspected of having any defect or imperfection.
This is one of the downsides of advanced medical testing technology - it steers towards a de facto eugenic outlook though I suspect many do not articulate clearly that is what is going on.

PM said...

Then there's the Paul Ryan approach - let the disbaled die because they can't afford medical care. Just as Thatcher didn't need to euthanase the elderly in hospitals: she merely cut their fuel allowances and let them freeze to death at home.

Anonymous said...

There was a purpose built two storey homeless shelter built in McKay Gardens Turner by St Vincent De Paul 30-40 years ago.
It was run Like the Matthew Talbot Hostel in Sydney. Volunteers mostly from St Patrick's Parish volunteered their time including overnight stays. I am not sure exactly when it was shut down, but it is now leased or sold and tenanted, by a number of private businesses. Another example of the greed mentality of this Archdiocese.

I am bemused to note that 7 local churches on the Northside are proposing to rotate hospitality to the homeless on a weekly basis. Surely these people would realise how confusing and demeaning this would be to those less fortunate than ourselves, to have a different and makeshift location every week. What will happen to the homeless who turn up at the venues in the other 6 weeks that they are not being utilised?

Perhaps they will seek shelter nearby and be taken in for the night by the local minister or priest. It is time these people who take on to administer parishes, put some real time and effort in and come up with a permanent workable solution, a shelter that is not in danger of being closed in the next wave of redevelopment.

I understand this proposal is mainly being promoted by the Uniting Church, St Columba's Braddon but I have two viable buildings to suggest. The Mercy Convent Braddon which is currently underutilised and would fit in with expanded parish services auspiced by St Patrick's next door and the former St Joseph's Convent O'Connor (Companion House), which will probably not be required when the asylum seeker situation if transferred off shore.

Maree Oddy