The West

Stylist creates way to help
Michael Edwards and Ron Reid talk to a homeless man in the Perth CBD. Picture: Gerald Moscarda/The West Australian

Like many people who regularly walk Perth's streets, Ron Reid has passed his fair share of homeless people.

Unlike most people, the Northbridge hairdresser decided he wanted to do something more to help than stop for a chat or buy the odd cup of coffee.

One night, "it just got the better of me", he said. He took to Facebook to establish the Perth Homeless Support Group, to bring together people who wanted to help but did not know where to start.

One week later the group has more than 500 supporters keen to help distribute food and water.

It is backed by ProAcqua, the group behind the high-tech refrigerated water fountains being tested in the city.

"We've found the heart of the people," Mr Reid said. "It's becoming a network of people wanting to get out there and just put food and water into people's laps."

Mr Reid said the group did not aim to replicate existing services but offer homeless people the simple pleasure of a meal or a drink and give people who wanted to help an outlet to do so.

"We shouldn't be scared of these people," he said.

"They're not killers, they're just like you and I and they've fallen on hard times."

ProAcqua is donating bottles and smartcards so homeless recipients can get cold water whenever they need it.

Chief executive Joe Muscara said he wanted to help when he learnt about Mr Reid's efforts. "It's fantastic what they're doing," he said.

The West Australian

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