The St Vincent de Paul Society believes housing is a human right and the ache for home lives in each and every one of us. We are proud to join with other organisations in support of Homelessness Week.
In 2017, Homelessness Week will take place from August 7 to 13. The theme of this year's Homelessness Week is 'Action and Innovation' in which we highlight the many effective approaches specialist services continue to implement to respond to homelessness.
On any given night in Australia, there are more than 105,000 people who face the prospect of homelessness. Sadly, the crisis is growing. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reported a nine per cent increase in the number of people seeking help from homelessness agencies over the 2015-16 financial year compared to the previous year. The record demand on the homelessness sector means many people are turned away due to a lack of resources.
Too many Australians are currently experiencing, or are at risk of, homelessness. If we are to meet the target of halving homelessness by 2025, it will require national action and political commitment.
Vinnies acknowledges that the nature of homelessness – with its inextricable link to housing supply, development and planning – means this will never just be a Federal Government issue. Ending homelessness needs to be a priority for state and territory governments, councils, business, community groups and service providers like us, and society at large. National leadership and political commitment is required to ensure:
- Secure and sufficient funding for homelessness services should be part of a renewed plan to halve homelessness by 2025 – a plan that addresses the drivers of homelessness, rapidly rehouses people who are homeless, and provides adequate and flexible support for those needing to sustain housing.
- Greater investment in public and social housing is needed to make sure people are not threatened with likelihood of homelessness. Australia has a shortfall of housing supply, estimated at over 500,000 rental dwellings, which are both affordable and available to the lowest income households. At the same time, the social housing system is struggling to cope with demand, with over 200,000 households on the waiting list for social housing.
Find out more about this issue
Read our recent media release calling for greater investment in social housing as part of a comprehensive national strategy to halt the rising rates of homelessness, especially among young people and older women.
In our Ache for Home report, Vinnies urged the Federal Government to establish a national plan for housing that included a $10 billion Social and Affordable Housing Fund and for Commonwealth Rent Assistance to be increased and indexed properly, among many other practical recommendations. Visit the Our Impact section of this website for more information about Housing and Homelessness issues.
What you can do this Homelessness Week 2017?
You can promote awareness of homelessness by sharing this page and by using our Twitter hashtag #HW2017 Find out more about Homelessness Week 2017 events taking place across the country by visiting the Homelessness Australia website.
Nationally, the St Vincent de Paul Society offers in excess of 200 programs and services. If you are interested in volunteering with one of our services visit the Get Involved section on our website or contact us today.
Where to find help