UPDATE: Murray managed to get in touch with a friend of his and stayed at his place in Parkville last night (yay he had a warm bed!). I spoke with Murray again this morning and he is feeling a lot better. Thank you to those who donated and shared this message! Any further donations to this page will be donated to Launch Housing, an organisation aimed at ending homelessness.
Please donate to help Murray sleep in a warm bed tonight.
This morning on my walk down to St Kilda, I came across an elderly man who was living behind some bushes of the local gardens which backs on to the beach. He had a walker with a pillow on it, and some other belongings scattered around. As I watched, he started a small fire to burn his rubbish. Within minutes, two fire engines and multiple police cars had arrived to put out the fire, and they proceeded to go through all this man’s belongings and take photos of his setup. All the while this elderly homeless man was sitting with his head in his hands on a park bench, surrounded by four armed policemen. I sat and watched as eventually the firemen and policemen left (there had been nearly 14 of them altogether), and the man returned to his now destroyed and invaded home. He sat down and started to cry. I let him cry for a minute, then I walked over and stood at the edge of the trees.
“Excuse me?” I said. “My name is Aislinn. I saw what happened and I just wanted to check if you are okay?”
“Oh hi, of course, come in, come in.” He said. “My name is Murray.”
Murray then proceeded to tell me how he had been in hospital the last week for a clot in his leg, and that he had been kicked out of his previous accommodation. He had a foldable bed which had been stolen the night before, along with his folder of phone numbers. He had family in New Zealand and Melbourne but had long since lost touch with them. I asked Murray what he was going to do, and he told me he would try and get accommodation at a budget hotel so he could shower and watch some TV and sleep in a bed. As I had been on a walk, I didn’t have my wallet or any money on me. We chatted a bit more, I gave him my phone number and then I left.
I want to help Murray find accommodation so that he can have a shower, sleep in a warm bed and have an adequate meal. I also want to help him get to his doctor’s appointment tomorrow. I don’t know exactly why Murray is homeless. Maybe he made mistakes. Maybe he was a victim of violence or maybe it was the simple fact that society failed him. We have a broken social system, and this is often the result.
But to me, the reason why he is homeless doesn’t matter. I believe housing is a basic human right that affords people dignity, and no one deserves to sleep on the street. I am hoping you will help me by donating so that we can help Murray get fed, showered and sleep in a warm bed. I will also try and get in touch with the local housing organisation and member of parliament to find a sustainable solution.
If you can donate anything, as small as $10 to help get Murray a warm bed to sleep in, I can guarantee it would be much appreciated. Gofundme charges 2.2% plus a $0.30 standard transaction fee for credit and debit card donations. If you would like to deposit direct to me, please get in touch via Facebook and I will provide my bank details. All money raised will go directly to Murray.
As a side note, I just looked up the name ‘Murray’ to see if I had spelt it right, and this is what came up: ‘The name Murray is a boy's name of Scottish origin meaning "settlement by the sea".’