Who hasn’t used Twitter to kill time on public transport, procrastinate when there’s something more important to do, or exchange witty lines with friends. Twitter entertains, it informs and it connects. Today I was jolted, not by the latest #auspol outrage or Kochie gaffe, but by the real power of Twitter. By humanity.
I’ve been following the @HomelessInMelb account for a couple of weeks. It’s a curation rotation account, which means tweets are rotated between different guest tweeters. The most recent guest tweeter, @_JoeBrown_ has tweeted his experiences of homelessness. Sleeping in cars, trying to find accomodation, dealing with the red-tape of government agencies, and enduring the cycle of joblessness and poverty that no Australian deserves. Joe is an ex Victorian firefighter who was injured and subsequently lost his job.
He and his male partner, @BS_evens have had particular difficulty accessing temporary accommodation services because of being a gay couple. They appear to fall between the gaps of ‘need’ because they do not have drug and alcohol problems.
Today, Joe & Ben got a house in Reservoir. They tweeted the experience of trying to secure the house. They were short of money for the bond, for food, for removalists and for household items. Twitter responded. The short-fall in rent was raised, and @Mrs_KT is coordinating donations and assistance to help make their house a home.
That’s the power of Twitter. Humanity. Connection. A happy ending to a hard story.