Media Release by Senator the Hon Mark Arbib

Minister helps the Big Issue raise awareness and funds

Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness Mark Arbib today marked Anti-Poverty Week by helping the Big Issue, a not-for-profit community organisation that helps to tackle homelessness, sell its magazines and raise funding for homelessness.

Senator Arbib said Anti-Poverty Week is an opportunity to consider Australians who are doing it tough and don’t have a permanent place to call home.

“Too often homelessness is misrepresented as something that only affects older men who end up living on the street,” Senator Arbib said.

“Homelessness can happen to anyone and affects all types of people, including women and children, young and old.

“One of the most effective ways to help someone that is experiencing homelessness is to provide employment or help to support their employment – including through supporting social enterprises such as the Big Issue.

“The Australian Government is a big supporter of The Big Issue in raising awareness and support for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in our community.

“The Australian Government provides $2.1 million towards the Big Issue’s Community Street Program, which uses organised sport to connect people in 25 underprivileged communities across the country and helps to boost the confidence and self-esteem of more than 3500 Australians.”

Senator Arbib said the Australian Government made homelessness a national priority and is working towards halving the rate of homelessness and providing supported accommodation to all rough sleepers who seek it by 2020.

“$6 billion is being provided through the National Partnership Agreement on Social Housing and the Social Housing Initiative which combined will deliver more than 21,500 new dwellings as well as repairs to an additional 80,000 dwellings,” Senator Arbib said.

“I encourage all Australians to take part in Anti-Poverty Week events organised by local groups and communities across the country, as we work together to raise awareness about breaking the cycle of homelessness.”

For information on Anti-Poverty Week activities visit