National Homeless Persons’ Week 2012
Australians concerned about homelessness are this week holding special events across the country to celebrate National Homeless Persons’ Week and raise awareness of the issue.
The acting Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Julie Collins, today helped launch National Homeless Persons’ Week at the Hoddle Street Ladder in Collingwood, a service which provides support and housing for young homeless people.
Ms Collins praised Homelessness Australia for organising the annual event and placing the issue in the public spotlight.
“I hope the event spurs more Australians to spare a thought for others in our community who do not have what many of us take for granted – a safe and secure home to call their own,” Ms Collins said.
“The Gillard Government is pleased to support this year’s Homeless Persons’ Week with $20,000 sponsorship.”
Ms Collins said this year’s theme ‘HOMING IN on the real issues of homelessness’ will focus on the many and varied reasons that lead to homelessness.
“The causes can range from domestic and family violence, to relationship breakdown, substance abuse, mental illness, financial hardship and youth unemployment,” Ms Collins said.
“On any given night, tens of thousands of people are homeless across Australia – couch surfing, staying in motels or emergency shelters, or sleeping rough.
“Many of these are families. The latest figures show 60 per cent of the people seeking assistance from specialist services are women, almost half are under 25 and around one in five are children under 10.”
Ms Collins said National Homeless Person’s Week events range from street soccer matches and surfing competitions to sleep outs in parks and school ovals.
“The Gillard Government believes all Australians deserve a safe, secure home and we have made homelessness a national reform priority,” Ms Collins said.
“We’re working towards two ambitious goals by 2020 – cutting overall homelessness by half and providing supported accommodation to all rough sleepers who seek it.
“We have invested around $5 billion in new funding since 2008 to provide support services and programs to assist people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
“The Australian Government has also committed $1.1 billion under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness and through this program we have already delivered more than 180 new or expanded homelessness services across Australia.”
For more information about Homeless Persons’ Week events visit: http://www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au/site/HPW%202012.php