On any given night in Australia, 116,000 people are without a home. Homelessness can happen quickly and it can happen to anybody. Family breakdown, losing a job, family violence or mental health decline shouldn’t put us at risk of losing the safety of our home. In fact, it is in times of crisis that a safe shelter is most important to our wellbeing.
Homelessness is fixable, but to end homelessness we need a plan. We need to make housing accessible and affordable. We need to support people to secure housing, or protect them if they are about to lose it. We need to support young people, women experiencing family violence, people with diverse needs and those on chronically low incomes.
There are many ways in which you can get involved this Homelessness Week. You don’t have to do it all, start with what feels meaningful for you.
1. ~ LEARN~
The first step to being a part of meaningful change is to arm yourself with knowledge. Here are some places you might like to begin:
Homelessness Australia will release a list of events happening around you this Homelessness Week. Immerse yourself in stories, talks and more.
3. ~CALL FOR CHANGE~
Talk to the changemakers in your community and tell them what you want to see done about homelessness. This might be talking to your local MP or emailing State and Federal Members responsible for housing.
There are many organisations out there working in different ways to support people experiencing homelessness. Some might be able to assist with emergency accommodation, emergency relief, case management or family violence support.
At PPCG, we support people experiencing homelessness through our Information, Referral and Support service. We will talk to each person about their unique situation and help link them in with the right supports. Some may see us just once, whilst others will work with us over a longer period of time to get the ongoing, person-centred support that they need. For those in immediate crisis, we can provide emergency relief such as food, toiletries, a sleeping bag, warm winter knits, a MYKI card to get to accommodation or a pharmacy voucher to purchase essential medication. As little as $50 can help us to support a person sleeping rough with food and other essentials for the week.