Jayson, like many Australians, spent the past decade living with his family in a house with a roof over their heads. Life was good, living with his wife and two daughters in their inner suburbs home whilst working as a builder in the local area.
Tragedy stuck when he least expected it. His wife fatally died in a car crash 18 months ago and he lost it all. After losing the house, he’s been forced to live in the CBD streets.
I met Jayson outside Saint Francis’ Church near Melbourne Central station, where he says during the day is usually a safe spot to be. Closer to Flinders St he’s been told to ‘move on’ by the police on several occasions.
St. Vincent De Paul has been the most helpful charity he’s come across, helping with food, clothes and sometimes some temporary shelter. He has stayed in crisis accommodation but describes the conditions as terrible and would prefer to sleep on the streets. Jayson says the hardest part about being homeless is gaining access to food, staying warm during the winter and achieving a safe night’s sleep.
He dislikes the misconceptions that come along with being on the streets, onlookers wrongly assuming that he’s a drug addict.
When I asked Jayson where he sees himself in a years time he replied ‘not here’, confident he’ll no longer be living on the streets.
I admire and believe in his confidence and am sure with a bit more kindness throughout our city Jayson will be in a better position soon.
Visit St. Vincent De Paul here to find out more about the great work they do and what you can do to help people like Jayson.