Everybody Needs A Home
“Everybody Needs a Home” was the theme this National Homelessness Week and the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 has made this message even clearer. As everyone was told to stay home in late March, there were community members still on the streets with nowhere to go. Fortunately Local and State Governments across Australia banded together and worked on plans to get people off the streets and into safe accommodation while the pandemic wreaked havoc through our cities. The last thing these vulnerable community members needed was to struggle through the winter and put themselves at risk of contracting the deadly virus, every single night.
In Adelaide, the Adelaide Zero Project saw roughly 150 rough sleepers given accommodation in hotels and motels across the city at the beginning of covid restrictions and since then, the push for housing for the homeless has seen more than 200 people permanently housed in public housing.
Those spoken to who were housed in hotels/motels the last few months said they felt like different people with a shower, food, good sleep and safety. They felt a level of dignity and that they were respected and cared for - all feelings that we sometimes take for granted. Case managers who were assigned to each person said the response in the previous rough sleepers was amazing and many were finally able to have thoughts about their futures because they were not having to live in survival mode.
While the action from Government has made a substantial difference to the lives of those rough sleepers facing homelessness, it makes you think why they weren’t able to provide a home for them before the pandemic? Why in such a wealthy and prosperous country like Australia do our community members not have homes?
Unfortunately, the rough sleepers in our cities make up only 6% of those actually experiencing homelessness in Australia, with many sleeping in inadequate or overcrowded shared/crisis accommodation.
We know there are many factors that contribute to homelessness and it truly is a complex and convoluted issue, but we also know that there just is nowhere near enough public housing in Australia for those who need it!
That’s why, at Mobilise, we are on board the campaign to make sure all Australians have a place to call home.
If you’d like to get involved on an advocacy level while you’re stuck at home… Why not write to your local MP to ask them to support the SHARP (Social Housing Acceleration and Renovation Program) to build 30,000 social housing properties over four years?
Makira Vann, Policy & Advocacy Advisor - Mobilise
You can find more resources around National Homelessness Week and the “Everybody’s Home” campaign here: