To end homelessness we need a plan
Homelessness Week 1-7 August 2022
Have you seen the installations of homeless figures around Kew Junction this last week for Homelessness Week 2022? If you were at Woolworths in Kew, the Alexandra Gardens or even near the Kew Library over these last few days, you would have spotted them. In fact, there are some 20 installations along High Street and Cotham Road, Kew. Each installation has a placard around them which details an aspect of homelessness. Don’t miss them, take a walk today and if you want to see them all download the flyer from the Boroondara Community Outreach website.
Homelessness Week is an annual event held nationally to raise awareness of the impact of homelessness in Australia. It raises the issues faced by so many and sets out the action that is required to achieve long lasting housing solutions.
We all learnt many things during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially during our periods of lockdown where the importance of a home was paramount. When we think about what our homes mean to us, consider what it means to being without a home. On any given night in Australia there are 116,000 people* without a home. The census of 2016 showed that in Victoria there were over 25,000 people without a home and this figure continues to grow.
But what causes people to be homeless? There are a number of reasons why people find themselves without a home. Amongst them is a lack of affordable housing and the cost of house prices rising faster than incomes. During the pandemic homelessness services in some areas were in high demand, with many who had lost their jobs and were experiencing homelessness for the first time. Being without a home has other traumatic effects, making those without a home distressed, leading to mental health problems, leaving them unable to find employment and for some they are unable to look after their children. How can they plan a future for themselves?
How can we help – by sharing stories, thoughts, ideas, and concerns about homelessness?
Read and listen to stories of those who are homeless in Boroondara by visiting BCO Kew – Boroondara Community Outreach. BCO Kew is a not-for-profit organisation with all activities funded by donations from the Uniting Church, Boroondara Council, Philanthropic bodies, community groups and individuals.
Find out what Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH) are doing to provide affordable homes in the community especially to older women in our community. Read more…
Vinnies are being part of the solution by providing services and programs to help prevent vulnerable people from becoming homeless and support others on their journey out of homelessness towards independence. Read more…
Jesuit Social Services operates a range of housing programs and provides support to people who have been involved with the justice system and are at risk of or are experiencing homelessness. Read more…
McAuley House provides a place for rest, recovery and reconnection for women who have been homeless. Visit McAuley for Women and Children to learn more about their work.
Or for something different SBS on Demand is airing Some Happy Day – the story of a homeless woman in search of a better life encounters a social worker with her own troubles, their lives interweaving over a single day.
But let’s not forget about the pets of the homeless. Quite often emergency and crisis accommodation do not permit pets resulting in many pets being abandoned or surrendered to shelters. Pets of the Homeless offers foster care and emergency boarding so they may be reunited with their owners once suitable accommodation has been secured.
These are just a few of the ways in which we can help and learn.
By Kate Baines
*Australian Bureau of Statistics (2018): Census of Population and Housing: Estimating homelessness, 2016