The Bay Post/Moruya Examiner has written so many stories over the years regarding homelessness.
Year after year, we report on the rental accommodation crisis.
Year after year, we report on the concerns of those compassionate people working in the crisis sector.
We hear the voices of those who lack the social and financial power to navigate what can be a very unforgiving housing market.
The ongoing crisis begins to feel more like groundhog day – and, despairingly, less like a crisis than the new normal.
In such circumstances, it can be very easy to lose hope and believe that an entrenched set of problems will never be solved.
Kate Lockley’s powerful piece in today’s edition is a welcome antidote to despair.
Hearing the voices of residents and workers at Hope House, and those of the caring people at Pivot Point and Ability Links, helps to put things in perspective.
Those suffering in the system and those working in the sector are more entitled than most to lose hope.
However, those who have experienced change in the most dire of circumstances know there is a happier outcome possible.
They have seen the results when the right funding models and services are on the ground.
They have seen people turn their lives around.
Homeless services should not have to go cap in hand, each year, to government funding bodies, to ensure they can continue to open their doors.
Homelessness hurts all of us.
We all pay the price in terms of lost productivity, higher rates of mental illness and chronic illness, and higher rates of crime. Putting people in jail is hugely expensive.
That people can emerge from jail only to sleep under bridges is truly short-sighted.
When jail begins to look like the most efficient way to get a warm bed and a meal, we know we are doing something wrong as a society.
No-one in the sector is making excuses for poor choices or criminal behaviour.
They are in fact being totally pragmatic about wanting the load on our social and justice services to be reduced.
To achieve that, we need a rational approach to social welfare and housing.
This is too important to come down to ideology.