Courtney Herron murder: Do Homeless Lives Matter?

I felt to produce this brochure and gave it to some of the attendees at the Courtney Herron vigil.  I would like to advocate for homeless people like myself as we have no voice or representation.  I have provided ideas that could facilitate the empowerment of homeless people.  I am seeking others to join me.


My mother rang the house sit where I am to make sure I was alright as she heard a homeless woman had died. All parents worry. When I read Courtney’s story I cried and cried. She is me. I felt moved to go to the vigil.

My love goes to the family of Courtney. Courtney will be in a safe place now. My poem is a
tribute to Courtney Herron a fellow traveller on this long and winding road in search of a home. Home is where the heart is.

All home-less people feel
less without a home. Others believe they are less without a home. A home is a place to rest, a place to be yourself, a place that is safe, supported to give and receive love. Many Australian homes are falling apart. Many people feel they can’t go home. 116,000 are homeless.

Those of us with lived experience – whether on the street, living in a tent, a car, couch surfing or house sitting – know the sense of isolation, the stigma, the hurt and the need to survive. We are all on journey’s home as we try to figure out what life means, why we are here and where too next.

There are many reasons why people become homeless for some it is: family breakup, job losses, cut off welfare, health issues, unaffordable housing, domestic violence or mental health issues. One way or another many experience mental health challenges that now affect 1:4 in our society. The ratio is higher for the homeless. Homelessness is not about money it is about inequality and inner pain. It is a symptom of a toxic culture. Winter is coming and we are moving into difficult times. Increasingly people are plugging into technology and detaching from others. More people feel negative and fearful. We have to turn the tide back towards a values based caring, loving and inclusive society that values all people.

Recently I had the chance to go to Canberra to see my mother. I wanted to thank her for sending me a little money so I could eat. I am not on Centrelink as I was cut off for ‘conscientious objection’ to corruption in the job provider system. I believed as a citizen I was equal and had rights. I was told I was not in equal partnership. I cannot go back on income support as to live in dignity is more important. Whilst in Canberra I started ‘Homeless Lives Matter’. I did a walking meditation on City Hill (People’s Hill) to stand in the shoes of the homeless and walked to Parliament House with a signHomeless Don’t Vote’ as many live rough, move around and do not have an electorate or Minister dedicated to representing them. Refer Press Release:

Here are a few ideas I’d like to share, perhaps you will join me in starting something new, Let’s get together and…

  1. Start a Homeless Lives Matter Not-for-Profit with those of lived experience and proactive supporters;

  2. Find out what homeless people need to empower them (ask);

  3. Record their stories (to be heard);

  4. Investigate what are the causes of homelessness (what);

  5. Consult the community – community, business and individuals (public speaking, forums, surveys);

  6. Investigate solutions that work (be a world first);

  7. Reflect on what are we learning about ourselves from this experience?

  8. Courtney Herron Homeless Lives Matter Budget Fund (dedicated to Courtney’s memory as her life mattered). The fund will focus on immediate accommodation for people on the street across Australia;

  9. Establish a Homeless Lives Matter Lobby Group to open dialogue with the Government:

    1. To recognise the Homeless crisis as a National Emergency;

    2. Start a Hotline for emergency shelter (as per United Nations Declaration of Human Rights)

    3. To allocate Emergency Response Funding to ensure all homeless people are off the street and in appropriate and safe accommodation transitioning to permanent homes. Perhaps coordinated by Centrelink.

    4. Reallocation of resources to house all homeless within 12 months.

    5. Establish A Minister for Wellbeing and Homelessness;

    6. Provide Government funded Wellbeing services to empower homeless people and heal emotional trauma;

    7. Trial Wellbeing Models that “work” around the world;

    8. Remove the stigma and bullying of homeless through public stories, education and highlighting the resilience in overcoming hardships and acknowledging the courage, self reliance and to value of them as citizens.

Contact: Susan Carew, Homeless Lives Matter (Worldpeacefull)
YouTube video (Worldpeacefull Empowerment)
Homeless Lives Matter Electing to Walk to Parliament:


Home less,
Why not home more?
Care less,
Why not care more?

Ignorant or informed?
Pathetic or empathetic?
Heart less or Heart more …
More heart is the call heard
just in time!

For to be home-less is not about housing,
Home is where the heart is,
Feel your heart when you are home,
For many are out in the cold left wanting answers without a Google search.

To be seen to be,
Is not to be,
To be or not to be is the real question,
For I am questioning what is real?

Judgement is the gavel that comes down hard on here-say, the right way or your way,
Disapproval judges as silent exclusion to know what is right without question or by-laws.

But what if this is not about right or wrong but striving to be strong for you no longer belong or sing the same song of indifference?

What if stuck between a rock and a hard place in circumstances leading to the edge,

No longer leading edge is the wedge in politics
For if you do not fly you fall hard against stone walls that keep out truth and reconciliation.

No-one hears your muffled calls,
They look the other way to say:

you are not my problem’, ‘bludger’, ‘get a job’, ‘made your bed’, ‘look after yourself’, ‘be self-reliant’, ‘a waste of money’!!

What of empowerment over dependency?
For you are not a dignitary monetising status,
Homelessness an indignity shamed in practice,
Labelled whilst you speak,
Speaking until you are labelled for you failed,
What of a system of falling global markets and quantitative easing funding false profits?

Life is a brand image not a real life image of deeper understanding,

Do you realise why we cry at night alone deciding where too next or if we have the will to live on?

When you walk in our shoes you will know the hardship of inequality finalising a ‘seal of assent’,

Society walks silently past signs of disorder,
Al Gore says he looks for real signs on High Streets.

Perhaps there is order in chaos as chaos reorders to rebalance worn out social norms,
As families, business, government are ‘out of order’ as community consultation is not in-kind or well-being.

The homeless are economic externalities unproductive assets depreciated over time unless human resources are privatised as profit.

Business-as-usual markets materialism not humanism in-equality for only users pay,
Addicted to consumption functions (MPC), GDP=C+I+G+(X-M) as the wealth of nations,
Good Samaritans apply for funding rounds as disadvantage is not job ready or steady state.

Centre-link is the missing link in chains that bind servitude not bonding comm-unity,
As compliance is not a democratic choice.

What if real wealth is well-being giving?
Caring Economics including non-paid sectors?
Civilisation is conflict resolution were all win/win without fear or favour?

As many will beg for real change not bit-coins,
Future ready digitises profiles as bit-coin stock exchanges with no spare change for hunger,
Sync data replaces carbon sinks to flow control programs rather than free flowing life cycles of infinite potential for every ONE.

I ASK: Can the meek inherit a new earthship planting new seeds in comm-unity gardens where
diversity in unity is the Common-wealth?

Now let’s come together as Homeless Lives Matter!

Mohandas Gandhi

“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”