Robyn Lawley has come a long way from her modest upbringing in Australia’s Western Sydney, now living the glamorous high-life in New York as a successful model.
But the Australian says living in America is not all as it seems, and she’s been ‘disgusted’ by some of the social issues present, including the high rate of homelessness.
The 29-year-old ambassador for Oaktree tells Be why it’s so important for her to be a part of a charity that raises money for people living below the poverty line.
“I live in New York, so I see homeless people in such a way – it’s so depressing. There’s no other word for it,” she says. “My heart hurts for them and I just can’t stand it.”
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According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), there were roughly 554,000 homeless people living somewhere in the United States on a given night last year.
“It’s the one thing I’m disgusted about with America, because the wealthier are getting wealthier and the poorer are getting poorer.”
The 29-year-old, although privy to a beautiful life with partner Everest and daughter, Ripley, three, is confronted on a daily basis by the way the homeless are treated.
“I went into a train station and I saw a woman without shoes and the police questioning her,” she says.
“The fact that the police were bugging her, and knowing outside it’s freezing and she’s living in a train station. It was winter, inside Penn Station – it’s not warm.”
This week, Robyn will embark on a challenge led by Oaktree to live on just two dollars a day for five days.
She and Everest will partake to raise money for the charity and they plan to livestream the grocery shop to show just how hard it is to live on ten dollars in five days.
“Two dollars to spend isn’t really anything,” she admits. “You have just enough so you don’t pass out, but we’ll getting vegetables from our garden and have rice, beans and grains.”
Robyn also volunteers regularly at a soup kitchen near her home as she feels it’s important to be out helping in the community.
“I feel like if you feel that there is a problem, you need to get out there and get your hands dirty and the best way to feel like you’re helping is by volunteering.”
Learn more about Oaktree.
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