Don’t Blame Society’s Problems on Individuals – Help The Homeless

Don’t Blame Society’s Problems on Individuals – Help The Homeless

As winter continues to hit Dunedin with everything it has, the reality of New Zealand’s housing issue is magnified. Many of us are very fortunate in that we are not constantly plagued by the same chill that others are exposed to on a daily basis, but with that position comes with an obligation: to speak out and force action for those that are.

Far too often one hears that this country is too developed and prosperous to have people living in substandard housing that makes them sick, or even without a ceiling over their head altogether. Despite this, we still have more than 41,000 people living a life on the streets, a figure that has risen 25 percent between 2006 and 2013, as the population only increased by 4.8 percent.

The correlation between homelessness and mental health disorders are stark, as is homelessness with criminality and substance abuse. These factors provide even more problems on top of the existing issues keeping these people pinned into their predicament. In fact, 50 percent of organisations or groups providing homes for homeless people also provide services that help prevent criminal offending, 42 percent for mental health problems, and 40 percent for substance abuse and addiction issues.

If what you have read hasn’t shocked you, then this might: more than half of the 41,000 homeless people are under 25 years old. People like you and me, suffering on streets up and down the bitterly cold islands we call home. It’s easy to ignore this demographic, thinking of them only as being impaired by alcoholism and drug addiction, with just a blanket and a piece of cardboard telling disinterested passers-by how needy they are. In reality, we are the ones who have failed them, and we’re continuing to seek any justification we possibly can to allow ourselves to ignore their plight by placing blame for society’s shortcomings on their individual shoulders.

By Joe Higham, co-editor of Critic, and all-round lovely guy. 

This article was originally published by Critic te Arohi. You can read the article here

The Dunedin Sleep Out 2016!

The Dunedin Sleep Out 2016!

YOU CAN STILL DONATE TO THE CAMPAIGN!  DO IT NOWW!!

Last Friday, the UniCrew team helped organise a fantastic event: The Dunedin Sleep Out 2016!

The event is a fundraiser for the Dunedin Night Shelter, a service providing emergency housing to those in need.

Sleeping out in the Octagon in the middle of a Dunedin Winter may seem like a health and safety risk, but if anything, sub-zero temperatures help make this event all the more poignant.

We are showing solidarity with those who experience homelessness, and making this often invisible issue more visible by putting it right in the middle of town!

Just as it was last year, the Sleep Out was a great success!

We were so happy to have the team from TV3 Story there to show off our event on LIVE national tv!!

IMG_3572.JPGLive from the Sleep Out: TV3 Story!

The event had a fantastic media response this year, with NewsHub, The ODT, ScoopYahoo NZ  and Dunedin TV all picking up the event this year, in addition to The Star community newspaper putting us on their front page!!
Thanks for helping us raise awareness of this crucial issue!

The event opened with speeches from both Dunedin North MP David Clark, and Dunedin South MP Clare Curran. The wonderful chairman of the Night Shelter Trust Dave Brown also addressed the crowd, thanking the students and organising team for their efforts (we love you too Dave!).

IMG_3581Dave Brown, Chairman of the Night Shelter Trust

The event was well attended this year, and featured a huge number of talented performers to keep the crowd entertained. A huge thank you to all of the following:

Julion Wright
the INTERSECTIONists
The Acoustic Paintings
Otago Dance Association
Zumba with Tammy
Abby Wolfe
James Dignan – music, poetry, art
Simon Kingsley-Holmes
Annie Hayes
Wyeth Chalmers
Andrew Mekhail

IMG_3585.JPGOtago Dance crew lighting up the Octagon stage

This event also would not happen without the support of a HUGE number of businesses, sponsors, community groups and just general good sorts, so thank you all!

Plus I have one more thank you: The wonderful team at UniCrew for all their efforts putting this event together!

Thanks crew.png

Not all of you are pictured here so I’m going to pick on you all:

Sze-En + Sarah + Dave: For their overall amazingness and organisation of the chaos!
Briar: For the amazing soup and team organisation!
Kelsey: For the awesome health and safety plan and general excellence!
Fred: For the musician cajoling and technical/audio genius!
Lucy/Craig: For the stunning photos/video and your overall help!
Abigail: For the fundraising brilliance, and your constant good vibes!
Damon: For the man-in-a-box and your cardboard-wall skills!
Geena: For your marketing brain and helpful assistance!
Susie: For your fizzing attitude and hype skills!
Angus: For the heavy lifting and helpfulness!
Finn/Anastasia/Alyson: For the injection of energy and helping hands!

+ Our security peeps: Timothy and Luke = Legends!

The people behind this Sleep Out worked so so hard to bring this event to life! They all deserve some thank yous, so give them a mental round of applause!

Here are some more images of the amazing night, and thank you to all our participants!!

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Confessions of a Master Procrastinator

Confessions of a Master Procrastinator

Time: 1:57am
Assignment word count: 1026/3000
Due: 9:00am

If you at all relate to the above, welcome to my world.

I would consider myself a true master of very few things in life, but I could teach a comprehensive course on how to procrastinate.

I could write a great thesis on it, if I wasn’t too busy procrastinating.

Even in writing this post I am procrastinating from about 10 other things that I should be doing.

And maybe thats the problem. I think of myself as a ‘productive’ procrastinator. This means I procrastinate by doing things that are less urgent than the assignment I should be writing. The issue here is that it makes me feel like I am still technically doing something, and hence takes away some of the guilt and panic I feel about the 3000 word research proposal that I should have finished by now.

But the problem with being busy, and being a so-called productive procrastinator, is that there is never any shortage of things to do to procrastinate from the thing which has the most imminent deadline.

I have been asked many times how do I do everything I need to do, and still function as a coherent human being. And there is no easy answer, plus sometimes I don’t sleep, as evidenced by me currently writing this at 2am.

But there are some things I have picked up that help alleviate procrastination. These might seem obvious to some people who actually have their lives together* but it took me a while to learn.

*by this I mean people who do their laundry BEFORE they run out of clothes.

1. Try to love what you do.

This is easier said than done for some people. But this is the single biggest thing that has changed the way I work. If I actually give a shit about what I am working on, the chances of me actually finishing a task are much higher.
This applies across the board, and there are ways to change your work into something you care at least a little bit about. Wherever possible, pick an assignment topic you are actually interested in, as opposed to one you think will be easy.
If you are lucky enough to have a job you love, good for you (but also I sort of hate you). If not, try turning a retail or service job into something more interesting by making friends and finding the comedy in the mundane.

2. Try to plan ahead.

A calendar app on my phone has changed my life. Google Calendar is fine but I personally use the free app Sunrise because it lets you combine multiple calendars (including FB events) in one place. Set your reminders well and then you never have to remember a thing about your life ever again, because trying to remember things like meetings, birthdays and due dates is half the battle. Taking away that stress helps immensely.

3. Give yourself permission to have bad days.

Sometimes things just don’t go your way. Handing an assignment a day late or forgetting a deadline seems horrific at the time, but I can promise you will survive.
Theres nothing wrong with holding yourself to a high standard. But beating yourself up isn’t constructive.

Theres a fine line between acknowledging failure and clinging to it. 

– The Master Procrastinator