- Tim Heenan 2012
Homelessness is a huge issue in Australia, but it's rarely talked about. Affordable housing and emergency housing is very hard to come by, even local support services are restricted in the emergency housing they provide.
The quote at the start of this blog post was said by a family friend who has been raising awareness of homelessness for a number of years now. In 2010 he slept out for a week, in a box in a local park. In 2011 he slept out for 2 weeks. In 2012 he slept out for a whole month. This year he's doing the same for the whole month of August.
The photo below is the box he'll be sleeping in during the month. Rain, hail or shine.
Since last year he's also been working to help Swags for Homeless. Homeless people often die of hypothermia, Swags for Homeless is an organisation that make fireproof backpack beds that are donated to people who are homeless providing them with some dignity and warmth at night.
I can't do what Tim is doing, but I will be posting and following his journey. I will also be donating some money from each sale I make during the month of August to Swags for Homeless.
Photo below: Swags for Homeless rally last year to urge the State Government to release money for helping the homeless.
Some facts about being homeless.
Homelessness can be caused by poverty, unemployment and a critical shortage of affordable housing.
Escaping domestic and family violence is the most often cited reason for seeking assistance given by women who present to homelessness services in Australia.
80% of people who need accommodation and are turned away are families.
Homeless people aren't just people who sleep on the streets, they're also people who 'borrow' a friend's couch for the night and those who sleep in their cars.
Suicide is 47% higher in the homeless.
Over 110,000 Australians will be homeless tonight 30% are children.
Homeless people don't put themselves in the spotlight, people don't see them so no-one talks homelessness as a big issue.
Let's talk about it.