It’s the most common question you’ll hear in an emergency call-out centre in Australia.
“Are you homeless?
No, I’m just here to look after you.”
The same question is asked by people who’ve been through a crisis and are trying to get back on their feet.
“We need to find a way to help you get through this,” one woman says.
“If you don’t get to your feet, how are you going to get yourself to your home?”
But a new survey suggests it’s not always about getting your socks off.
Almost two-thirds of those who have been homeless in the past year have never been on the streets, or been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The report found more than a quarter of those surveyed were on their way to finding a new home, or to the welfare system, or were just waiting to be released.
More:How to make the most of your homeless shelter experienceWhat can you do to help?
The homeless shelter system can help but there are a few things you can do to make it easier to get on your feet and get on with your life.
Take your socks and shoes off.
This is a key point for many of us.
We’ve seen how the socks and shoe laces can make us feel like we’re homeless, and the more we wear them, the more they feel like they’re in our pockets.
“It makes me feel like I’m not wearing anything, I can’t even find my shoes,” one man says.
“There’s a lot of shame and anxiety about that.
And so it’s really important that you don to wear that much.”
Don’t wear socks or shoes that are tight or in the way, don’t wear those things to your door.
“If you’ve ever had to make a call-off in the emergency room, you know what that feels like.”
The first time I had to call-down, it was so humiliating and it was just so difficult, because you can’t tell anybody, ‘Oh, your son is here’,” one man explains.”
So if you don’ have a lot to say, you don”t have to say anything at all, and it just feels like you are stuck in this place.
“I think if we do something about it, we can get through it, and I think we can all have a little bit of dignity and respect.”
The next best thing is to find your nearest homeless shelter.
A lot of people are hesitant to do this, but there’s nothing worse than having to make an emergency contact-out call in a desperate situation.
If you have been on your own for more than six months, find a place to stay for the night.
If it’s a short-term stay, get your own place.
If not, find somewhere to stay with other people who are on the move.
The most basic of these are your family and friends.
They can also give you a place for your belongings to stay.
When you get to the shelter, put the keys in the safe and put the phone away.
Don”t go looking for the phone to call your landlord.
It”s important you don t get too stressed because it”s not a safe place to be.
“There are also a number of organisations that provide a number and range of different options to help people get on their own, from community housing, to emergency accommodation and temporary shelters.
Some of these options are designed to get you off the streets and onto your feet.
Some can be temporary, and some are permanent.
Some have community outreach programs, such as SafeHouse, that can help you find a suitable place to live and learn to live independently.
A new report released by the Australian Homelessness Foundation shows that one in four people surveyed were homeless when they first came to the organisation, and they’re not going anywhere.
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