Laurence and the Midnight Train to Kiama

A well-known identity amongst the Sydney homeless community, Laurence takes the midnight train to Kiama and back every weekday - a 6-hour return journey - seeking refuge away from the streets, as a chance for warmth and a place to sleep.

Countless homeless people use long, late night train trips as a source of shelter every day - not only to Kiama, but also to the Central Coast, Lithgow or just to the far reaches of Sydney's suburbs. If they can afford it, a train ticket is cheaper than overnight accommodation.

But these train trips are not entirely free from danger. Drunken hoodlums and police checks provide the greatest sources of anxiety, so any amount of sleep is often interrupted and done with one eye open, so to speak.

After a short break at their destination, the trains usually return to Central Station before sunrise, after which the homeless must negotiate the city's streets once more.

Laurence, who is 20% deaf, has been living on the streets of Sydney for the last 18 months. He became homeless not long after both his parents died and was sole carer for his sick mother before she passed.

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