OUR SAY: We need to show we care
THE plight of Sunshine Coast families who will be homeless this Christmas is something most of us don't like to directly acknowledge or confront.
Sure, we'll happily give a few dollars to charity or throw something into a hamper so we can say we've "done our bit" but most of us don't want to deal with the discomfort, even embarrassment, of coming face-to-face with the people who will spend Christmas alone, or living on the streets.
The Sunshine Coast is a very generous place. The response to charity drives and the Daily's own Adopt A Family campaign bear that out.
But there's a big step between throwing a few bucks in a collection tin and actually spending time with those less fortunate.
Thankfully, there are people who are willing to do it.
Now we hear about entire families being forced from their homes as private landlords increase rents to benefit from tourists.
Many of these people are barely clinging on by their fingernails and many may never recover from having to spend weeks living in their cars, in tents or couch surfing.
There is no easy answer.
Deb Blakeney from the Queensland Council For Homeless Persons agrees with Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson that more emergency accommodation is needed.
But, she says , there also needs to be a concerted effort to make services available to people in need so they don't fall through the cracks.
Our donations help but unless governments provide funding to improve services, the risks confronting our most vulnerable will only get worse.