Nick Pearce and Marcus Crook used to walk past homeless people on Melbourne’s city streets every day. They felt that something needed to be done.
“It’s around us every day. You can give money and food but that’s only so much and there comes a time when you just want to get to the bottom of it,” Crook, who lives in Malvern, said.
Forging a friendship based on a common passion for volunteer work, Pearce, 21, and Crook, 26, wanted to help change attitudes towards homelessness.
Combining their respective skills in writing and photography, they launched the blog “Homeless of Melbourne”.
Their message is simple: sit, chat, listen and share. The men approach a homeless person, sit down beside them on the footpath and engage in friendly conversation.
Bureau of Statistics figures suggest there are more than 18,000 homeless people in Victoria, the vast majority in the south-eastern suburbs and inner Melbourne.
Pearce, from Box Hill, said he was shocked to hear of the hardship some homeless people had endured.
“They are teaching us so much. Most of them have come from really stable jobs and have qualifications, so it’s really shocking people don’t talk about that kind of stuff,” Pearce said.
The duo hope their blog will help spread awareness of the issues and encourage readers to say “hi” to the next homeless person they see.
For more information, visit homelessofmelbourne.tumblr.com
Originally published at The Weekly Review.