Stone Soup is an old folk tale about three hungry travellers who come to a town with nothing but an empty cooking pot. The townsfolk are reluctant to share food with the strangers so the travellers fill the pot with water, put a stone in it and place it on a fire.
Long story short, the townsfolk are curious about what the strangers are cooking and ask. They are told it is stone soup, which will be perfect, except it’s missing a vital ingredient. One person offers up carrots, another onions and so on until a huge, healthy pot of soup is created to feed the whole town.
The moral of the story is that a difficult problem can be solved with a little co-operation and help from everyone.
Mission’s new Stone Soup initiative is attempting to recreate that story in real life. Not just to make one meal, but to tackle homelessness altogether.
Last week, council met to discuss 35 possible steps to address the growing homeless concern. It included short, medium and long term projects.
Like the story, the key to success lies in everyone doing something. Rather than expecting council to solve the issue, the public needs to ask itself what it can do to help.
The problem isn’t going away. You can’t just move it out of your neighbourhood and pretend it’s gone. It has to be addressed, by government, police, service groups, the public and the homeless themselves.
It’s a small step, but it’s in the right direction.