Couched in pos­i­tive terms

Couch con­ver­sa­tions stim­u­late dis­cus­sion.

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS -

LIFE has not al­ways been easy for Mal­colm Hill, who grew up on the streets of Fre­man­tle.

Mr Hill par­tic­i­pated in the St Pa­trick Com­mu­nity Sup­port Cen­tre’s Couch Con­ver­sa­tion on Fri­day, al­low­ing the pub­lic to hear sto­ries from those who have been home­less.

Mr Hill said he was taken away from his par­ents when he was 10.

“I didn’t like liv­ing in homes so I ran away. I got streetwise pretty quick, which I hated as I had to grow up quick; you had no child­hood,” he said.

“I met Deb­o­rah and we lived on the streets for four years at South Beach.”

After spend­ing some time in tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion, they then lived in a car for 10 months be­fore find­ing more per­ma­nent ac­com­mo­da­tion in Hamil­ton Hill.

Mr Hill said more aware­ness was needed on the is­sue of home­less­ness.

“Even the rich­est of peo­ple can fall into the same boat, you never know. More ser­vices are needed after hours: a street doc­tor or a peer sup­port per­son at night,” he said.

Mr Hill said he wished more empty ac­com­mo­da­tion was avail­able.

“It could be a place where you give a gold coin do­na­tion and there is a bed and a hot shower for a night and leave the next morn­ing,” he said.

“They need more stuff like that; it keeps peo­ple off the street and safe.”

Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek­mu­ni­ d485668

Christo­pher Ban­non, Deb­o­rah Wal­ley and Mal­colm Hill.

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