As Canberra celebrates its Centenary, homelessness remains a key community challenge. The St Vincent de Paul Society in association Sir William Deane is holding a public forum on the 6th of June 2013 at the ANU Commons to discuss the issue of homelessness in the ACT.
In Canberra's Centenary year the forum seeks to raise the profile of poverty and homelessness in our community. Each night 105,000 Australians do not have a secure place to call home and 40% of these are aged under 25*. While common perceptions of homelessness may involve single older men sleeping rough, the reality is that a much broader group is compelled to live in refuges, boarding houses, severely overcrowded dwellings or other temporary accommodation.
St Vincent De Paul Society, National CEO John Falzon said "We must change as a nation by tearing down the walls that lock people out or literally lock them up, and instead build bridges not only to secure affordable housing but to provide education, employment, hope."
The 2008 White Paper Can we halve Homelessness by 2020? is the basis of current housing policy, but where are we now in meeting this target? In discussion with the audience the panellists will consider strategies towards reaching this goal.
"We must change as a nation by calling both sides of politics to unite in making a reality out of the White Paper target to halve all homelessness by 2020 and to offer a place to call home for all who are sleeping rough. In many ways there can be no higher priority for a nation that prides itself on being progressive." John Falzon.
*2011 Census of Population and Housing
Canberrans can do something about it, please donate to the CEO Sleepout by visit: www.ceosleepout.org.au
Tickets to the Forum are available online at: www.vinnies.org.au