By Justin RouillonThursday 29 Jul 2021Social JusticeReading Time: 5 minutes
In a prosperous country like Australia homelessness shouldn’t be a problem, but every night around 116,000 people across the country are without a permanent roof over their heads.
Even though the root causes of homelessness are complex, in the country of the fair go we should always be able to lend a helping hand and get people back on their feet.
Every year National Homelessness Week raises awareness around people experiencing homelessness, the issues they face, and the action needed to achieve long-lasting housing solutions.
This year Homelessness Week runs from August 1 to 7, and the theme is ‘Everybody Needs a Home’. 96five will be supporting the week with a number of special stories and conversations highlighting the work of those who are helping those who find themselves without a home.
Homelessness is a problem facing our entire community, although Mission Australia has identified two key demographics that have been impacted at higher rates. Mission Australia found that 17 per cent of young people aged 15 to 19 have experience homelessness, with older women over the age of 55 also being adversely affected.
In fact, women over the age of 55 are the fastest growing group of people seeking assistance from homelessness services. This can be caused by financial instability, the death of a partner or unexpected illness.
Homelessness Week Events
- Online Launch of Homelessness Week 2021 – Join the launch from Homelessness Australia with Michael Sukkar, Federal Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Housing and Minister for Homelessness, Social and Community Housing. The launch will be hosted by the ABC’s Patricia Karvelas, and Dr Angela Jackson, Lead Economist, Equity Economics will talk about her report commissioned by the Everybody’s Home campaign about the benefits of providing long term social housing to women who have experienced domestic and family violence. Angela will outline the impact of lack of access to social housing on women fleeing violence, and the economic benefits to women and the community of providing safe affordable homes, so women can rebuild their lives.
If you have some time to volunteer, the following organisations are always looking for gifts of time or finances.
- Homelessness Australia – is the national peak body for homelessness in Australia. They provide systemic advocacy for the homelessness sector and work with a large network of organisations to provide a unified voice when it comes to preventing and responding to homelessness.
- Beddown – The aim of Beddown is to take spaces that are commonly used and busy during the day but at night are left vacant or empty. Beddown then activates and repurposes the space at night into pop-up accommodation to ensure the homeless, those who are sleeping rough are then able to come and get into a bed at night. By providing a safe, secure and comfortable place to get a good night’s rest, we help restore health, dignity and respect for our guests.
- Emmanuel City Mission – As a ministry of Emmanuel Community, Emmanuel City Mission was established in 2009 to serve the vulnerable of Brisbane. The ministry was created as a volunteer, street-based outreach service and from 2014 a place-based sanctuary at 19 Merivale Street in South Brisbane. Open 7 days a week providing nutritious food, showers and washing facilities, clothing and toiletry packs and a safe space away from the street.
- Nexus Care – Located in Everton Park, Nexus Care is an innovative, hard working not for profit organisation caring for the northern suburbs of Brisbane and beyond. The heart of Nexus Care is to alleviate poverty in our community.
- Fishers of Men – run a range of services, ministering without distinction to those who are homeless, at threat of homelessness, are poor or needy.
- The King’s Table Soup Kitchen – a ministry of New Hope Care, The Kings Table provides a free lunch every Friday to Brisbane’s homeless community. They also provide items to their guests as needed including groceries from our food pantry, clothing, blankets, and toiletries.
- Rosies: Friends on the Street – Rosies reaches out to those most in need, people who are homeless or at risk, lonely, and socially isolated within our communities. Rosies aims to provide friendship and unconditional acceptance to those doing it tough with a warm smile and a hot drink.
- Micah Projects – run a range of services including their ‘Home for Good’ program, which works to prevent and end homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness are met and their rights protected.
- Brisbane Youth Service (Housing Support) – BYS has been operating in Fortitude Valley since 1977. In that time we have helped tens of thousands of young people (aged 12-25) experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless, and their accompanying children. We assist vulnerable young people to find and maintain appropriate housing, address physical & mental health issues and establish successful relationships and support networks.
- Sheltered by Grace (Logan) – is a not-for-profit organisation based in Logan that exists to make a real difference in the lives of the homeless. The focus is on the provision of supported accommodation and dedicated programs for men and women over the age of 25 suffering from trauma that has led to homelessness.
- Helping Hands QLD (Brisbane & Ipswich) – a ministry to the homeless that calls on hostels, assisted accommodation and those sleeping rough, to try and reach those members of our community who may feel isolated, who may be living away from friends and family, who may be less advantaged, or who may simply enjoy a ‘cuppa’ and a chat with some familiar faces on a regular basis. Helping Hands serves sandwiches, bread, cakes, biscuits and hot and cold drinks from their distinctive yellow vans that have been specially kitted out for this purpose.
- Orange Sky (Brisbane, Gold & Sunshine Coasts) – provide a platform for every day Australians to connect through a regular laundry and shower service. The focus is on creating a safe, positive and supportive environment for people who are too often ignored or who feel disconnected from the community. Our volunteers are not social workers or experts on homelessness – they are empathetic listeners and great conversationalists.