A new Hunter-based project is asking all people of the Hunter to show their support and get involved in a range of initiatives to tackle homelessness in the region.
Human Power is a people driven brand, the brainchild of two Hunter businesswomen, Being More Human Founder, Michelle Crawford and UQ Power CEO, Heidi Alexandra Pollard.
“In the global market it is more important than ever for businesses to connect to their purpose,” Heidi Alexandra said. “This event is designed to bring business, government, not-for-profit and the community together combining people who would never normally sit in the same room to focus on an issue that matters to all.”
Michelle says that the unique contribution of the gathering is that the event will have people from a range of industries, including finance, small business, insurance, human resources, mining, local councils, lawyers, property developers, schools, restaurants/cafes, training organisations, construction companies, politics, aged care, mental health, homelessness, housing, not-for-profits, healthcare, heavy manufacturing and allied health providers.
“A true representation of our Hunter business community to deal with a truly challenging community issue. We envisage that the Hunter has never quite seen a collaboration so extensive between business, community and not-for-profits,” Michelle said.
“It builds on some great work going on already in the homelessness sector. What we aim to achieve with Human Power is a broader, more cooperative discussion, inspired by the voices of those who actually live rough every night. And what we hope to see out of the evening are some creative, effective, business led contribution around coordination and strategy.”
The Human Power Homelessness Project aims to harness the power of people through several initiatives on World Peace Day, 21 September 2016:
1. The facilitated conversation from 5.30 – 9.30pm at The Lock Up in Newcastle. To be part of a strategic discussion about what can be done across the region to tackle this complex issue.
2. Meditators are also asked to unite for a meditation for the homeless at various meditation centres in the region.
3. Families and people of the Hunter are invited to show their unity by being part of the #sleeproughathome campaign on the evening of 21 September and post photos of themselves sleeping on their lounge room floor, verandah or back yard as a conversation starter with their loved ones.
“Several cities around the world have already eradicated homelessness in their communities, we think that’s a possibility for the Hunter as well,” Heidi Alexandra said.
“Research shows it costs around $100,000 for services per homeless person per annum. In comparison it costs only around $20,000 per annum to provide them with a home. A home is the first step in them then being able to tackle other aspects of their life such as addiction, mental health and education.”
“It has been really heartening that the many conversations Heidi and I have had in the lead up to this initiative with businesses from around the Hunter that everyone has been very supportive and interested,” Michelle said.
“One such conversation was with Jennifer O’Sullivan, Executive Manager at Path 2 Change, who also shares our vision that we could make the Hunter Region the region with the lowest rate of homelessness in Australia.”
The Human Power initiative is being launched in August the birthday month of both Michelle (29 August) and Heidi (8 August) as their birthday gift to the region which they live, work and love.
“We are launching the initiative on my birthday and in Homelessness Week 2016, we want to encourage everyone in the region to recognise that those experiencing homelessness are a valuable part of our society and must be supported,” Heidi Alexandra said.
The Human Power Project on homelessness is the first of several that Human Power aims to hold to create a new broader conversation around a number of the United Nation’s Global Goals. Heidi and Michelle want to encourage everyone in the Hunter business community to think global, act local.