MLA keen to help town’s homeless

Zoe KeenanSouth Western Times
Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray's door is always open to those in need.
Camera IconCollie-Preston MLA Mick Murray's door is always open to those in need. Credit: Zoe Keenan

In metropolitan areas, services for homeless people are never too far, but in a small regional town like Collie, people find themselves at Mick Murray’s doorstep.

The Collie-Preston MLA – like any politician – has a crammed schedule, including his role as Minister for Seniors and Ageing, Volunteering and Sport and Recreation.

But this has never stopped him helping Collie’s most vulnerable.

With nowhere to go, people sleeping on the streets or escaping family and domestic violence stumble into Mr Murray’s electorate office.

Referring them to support, providing food or helping fill out forms to access financial help, his office has helped many break the cycle.

It is not the usual role of an electorate office or a minister of his portfolio, but it is not one he considers unusual.

“It’s just part of the service of a political office, some may see that quite differently,” Mr Murray said.

“Where some just hand out a business card and tell them to go somewhere else, we actually deal with the issues.”

He said early in his political career, a man with two children was desperate but later self-harmed before getting the help he needed.

“That’s stuck with me and that’s why we do what we do,” he said.

“It’s quite emotional to see kids hanging onto mum looking at you with big eyes ... sleeping in cars because it’s the only thing they’ve got.”

A crisis accommodation centre recently established in the town, which Mr Murray said would go far in helping people who had nowhere else to go and would avoid sending them back to whatever situation they escaped.

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