Need to Break the Cycle of Homelessness
6 August 2013 at 10:18 am
Despite global economic challenges, the fact that people are experiencing homelessness in Australia is unacceptable according to Lin Hatfield Dodds, Chair of the Australian Social Inclusion Board at the start of Homeless Persons Week.
“In Australia, around 105,000 people are homeless on any given night, including people who are sleeping rough, or staying in temporary, unstable or substandard accommodation,” Hatfield Dodds said.
“Safe, affordable and accessible housing is essential for social inclusion.”
Those who are homeless or in unstable or crowded accommodation face difficulties in engaging with work, education and training. They may miss appointments for job seeker assistance as they are busy trying to secure accommodation. They may have mental health issues and face significant stigmas on top of those associated with being homeless.”
Hatfield Dodds says the Board recognises that the need for affordable and appropriate housing will continue to rise.
“The need to provide enhanced supports through both mainstream service providers and aged care providers will also increase," she said.
“Over 21,500 new social housing dwellings have been built since 2011 and repairs and maintenance to more than 80,000 social housing properties have been made, with more than 50% of tenanted dwellings going to people who were homeless or at risk of homelessness.
“What people don’t realise is that many people who are homeless, cycle between homelessness and marginal housing, including crisis accommodation. By connecting people with the services they need, we can break the cycle of homelessness,” she said.
Hatfield Dodds said “an important pathway out of homelessness is employment, and there are benefits for all Australians when we reduce homelessness and increase people’s participation in work and society.”
“The social inclusion agenda aims to make sure every Australian has the capability, opportunity and resources to fulfil their potential. Achieving this vision means to tackle the most entrenched forms of disadvantage in Australia and support the 5% of the population who face multiple challenges to inclusion and struggle to make ends meet.”