Homelessness Week 2019

Published on 25 July 2019

Homelessness Week is a time for all Australians to raise awareness of people experiencing homelessness, the issues they face and the action needed to achieve long-term solutions. This year, the event runs between August 4–10 with the theme of ‘Home Safe Home’.

Did you know homelessness in Australia has increased 13.7% in five years? (source: ABS Census 2016) It may take only a couple of unexpected life events for someone to fall into homelessness.

  • Homelessness is often hidden. Many live in severely overcrowded dwellings or moving from one temporary solution to another, for example on a friend’s floor or couch.
  • There is no one reason people access homelessness services. They do so for many reasons, including (AIHW, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018):
    • 37.2% due to domestic and family violence
    • 46% due to financial reasons, including housing affordability stress
    • 43.7% due to housing crisis (accommodation issues and needs)
  • Currently there are 40,000 people on the social housing waitlist, with an average wait time of over 2.5 years in WA.
  • 2 out of 3 people presenting at homelessness services with a long-term housing need are turned away due to a lack of accommodation.

At the basic level a home is simply a shelter, it’s somewhere to store your possessions, it’s somewhere to cook a meal, a place to sleep. But a home is more than just four walls and a roof, a home provides safety and security, that most West Australians take for granted every single day.

How can you get involved?

Ending Homelessness can only be achieved by coordinated, collaborative and planned action by the whole community, in partnership with government and industry that utilises our extensive networks to leverage change.  The WA Alliance to End Homelessness has developed a 10-Year Strategy in partnership with key stakeholders and the community. The Strategy can be found at www.endhomelessnesswa.com

Homelessness Week Events in City of Swan

The City of Swan has partnered with Indigo Junction and artist Deborah Ralph-Kafarela to support Homelessness Week.

Indigo Junction are hosting a free lunch on Friday, August 9 from 11am–1pm at the Cale Street Event Space (corner of Cale Street and The Crescent). It includes hot food, drinks, entertainment, haircuts, raffle prizes and support services. Everyone is welcome to come and hear about how to help to make the changes needed to end homelessness.

Deborah Ralph-Kafarela has developed a series of artworks and installations that challenge cultural values of rough sleeping and homelessness. The exhibition is available at the Midland Junction Arts Centre until August 10. The exhibition closing celebrations will be held on Friday, August 9, and all are welcome.