The Full Story...well, almost;
Who are Pup & Girl and what are we doing...?
Pup & Girl, also known as Aoife (gorgeous, affectionate border collie), Willow (gorgeous, daft border collie) and Lee-Anne started out with a run from Adelaide City Centre to Melbourne City Centre over 10 days in August 2019 ...rain, hail or shine to raise funds for, and awareness of, organisations that assist those who are dealing with homelessness in Adelaide, South Australia.
The what, why and wherefore...
There were over 122,000 homeless people in Australia on the night of the 2021 census, nearly one in every 200 Australians.
Living in tents, couch surfing, sleeping out, staying in hostels and supported accommodation, and living in very overcrowded dwellings all constitute homelessness. Only 6 % account for those sleeping rough, out in the public eye.
The causes of homelessness are varied and are often a mix of factors compounding each other - lack of affordable housing, lack of supported mental health care, injury and/or illness, gambling, low incomes - coupled with job insecurity, domestic violence, disability, bereavement, relationship breakdown, addiction and substance abuse, unstable family situations, and unemployment or job loss.
A (very, very) brief summary of the run to Melbourne...
Okie dokie...so, Lee-Anne ran from Adelaide to Melbourne in ten days. It was an adventure, it was hard but not too hard, it was a privilege. We raised just over $20,000 - made memories - listened to an overwhelming number of stories that people shared about their own experiences of homelessness.
'Twas grand and humbling !
So, what is next...?
We are really glad you asked!
A short while after the return from Melbourne Lee-Anne felt that she wanted to do MORE - that she had not challenged herself enough, that she had not raised enough awareness around homelessness in Australia, that she had not finished thinking / being in this space.
It took a little while for a plan to land BUT in May 2023 Lee-Anne and Pups will run from Perth to Adelaide...nearly 2600 kilometres over six weeks (around 60 kilometres a day for 44 days)...across a part of Australia that she is completely and utterly unfamiliar with !
Why keep running across the Country?
Pup & Girl are just an ordinary (deaf) librarian and her dogs, with not a lot of influence to action change in everyday life - other than small acts of kindness. It is with hope and a little faith that the sheer enormity of the act of running thousands of kilometres might be enough to spark a national dialogue about homelessness, to challenge the misconceptions steadfastly perpetuated around how homelessness occurs, to activate a consciousness in others to act with respect and kindness - rather than to look the other way.
And to raise awareness of, and funds for, some of the organisations who are working tirelessly to help those doing it really tough.