I have learnt so much from this trail, it was a great experience as a whole. Prior to this, I never really thought much of homelessness and even if I did it was a bland generalisation that most homeless people are mentally ill or victims of drug abuse or alcoholism. Now that I’ve been here, I realised how wrong my misconceptions were. Firstly, homelessness is not just about sleeping on the streets. It’s more about not having some place to call your own. To call home. Not having that house key so you can open and shut out the world and have your own privacy and space. Not having the presence of your loved ones. Which most people in this country can do. I think this is where my empathy kicks in, no matter how bad my day is or who does or does not like me, I can go home to a private sanctuary. The homeless have nowhere to go. I don’t know what I would do in that situation. I wish people would be more educated to know that we are all one step away from homelessness, fire storms and other things can happen in one day and we will be in the same place of those we look down upon. Ask ourselves how we would like to be treated. So when we’re passing some homeless person asleep in a shop doorway don’t jump to the conclusion that he or she must be an addict or alcoholic and it’s their fault that they are there. I personally think people experiencing homelessness face violations of a wide range of human rights. Access to safe and secure housing is one of the most basic human rights. However, homelessness is not just about housing. It’s aslo a lack of connections with family, friends and the community, the right to education, the right to privacy, the right to freedom from discrimination, and many many more. The government should take action on this matter as it is for the people, not just those who have made no mistakes. Our country has enough resources that none of its citizens should be without a home. They may have made mistakes and may not be completely stable or have job skills, but they are human, and many simply need a helping hand or a second chance. We also visited Frontyard Integrated Youth Services who seeks to provide young people with choices that contribute to their health and well being, and where possible, return them to their home. They helped us raise awareness about youth homelessness and the factors that cause it. It was depressing to know that around 43% of youth, people like me, are homeless every night in our country. While it may be true that some homeless youth leave home for fairly irrelevant reasons, for most young people who become homeless, the reality is much different. I think the perspective that sees becoming homeless as a choice is inaccurate, rather it is insensitive, inaccurate, and lacking real understanding of the situation.