New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show an 8 per cent increase in the homelessness rate on 2006 figures, a fact that should be a matter of concern for all Australians. The figures demonstrate that there is still a lot of work to be done to address homelessness and that far too many Australians are being pushed to the margins of society; struggling to find a way out and rebuild their lives.
The figures show that 105,237 people in Australia are experiencing homelessness, with 60 per cent of those under the age of 35. In NSW, the results showed that there were 28,190 people experiencing homelessness up by 21 per cent on 2006 figures.
Perhaps surprising to many people is that 41 per cent of these are women, 13 per cent are under the age of 12 and 56 per cent are under the age of 35.
Latest 2 of 30 commentsView all comments
There aren’t many social ills as badly misunderstood as homelessness.
Several years ago Mission Australia conducted a survey which asked Australians to estimate the number of homeless people on any one night.
Over half believed the figure was less than 10,000. The true number is closer to 90,000. But perhaps the reason people so underestimate the problem is because increasingly homelessness is not about a man sleeping rough on an inner city park bench, but more likely to be a family in the suburbs.
Latest 2 of 20 commentsView all comments
This week marks the tenth anniversary of the establishment of Anti-Poverty Week. It is a timely opportunity to think about what experiencing poverty means in Australia in 2012 and more importantly, what can be done to address it.
Australia is undoubtedly doing very well on most economic and social indicators. We have had largely uninterrupted economic growth for the last 20 years, survived the GFC without too much pain, unemployment remains very low and high school completion rates are the highest they have ever been.
You could be forgiven for thinking that poverty is not an issue that should concern us greatly.
Latest 2 of 65 commentsView all comments
Later today there’s a very good chance Australia’s official number of homeless people could drop significantly.
Ordinarily, any drop in homeless numbers is cause for celebration. But this result, unfortunately, has nothing to do with Australia’s success at getting more people back into long-term accommodation. In fact there is a danger that this ‘drop’ could be seized upon to derail the nation’s assault on homelessness. Let me explain…
The Census provides us with the only national and state/territory count of homeless people. While the homeless count has its challenges, it’s still hugely significant for governments and homeless agencies and is of considerable interest to the broader community.
Latest 2 of 35 commentsView all comments
This week is Homeless Person’s Week and for seven days coins will be collected, awareness raised and pledges made to reduce the number of Australians who don’t have a place to call home.
Recent research from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare puts that figure at more than 100,000, of which almost half are under the age of 25. On the 12th of August, Homeless Person’s Week and International Youth Day will collide, prompting consideration of some of the most vulnerable in our community: those who are both young and homeless.
Complex combinations of mental illness, low levels of education, family breakdown, financial struggles, and a severe lack of services leave homeless young people in a precarious situation.
Latest 2 of 56 commentsView all comments
“My father’s violence became so bad that I witnessed my mother being pinned against a wall with knives”.
This is one of the lines from a letter I received during my youth consultation in a South Australian homeless shelter. Its author was a girl who I will call “Charlotte”. She gave me this letter without hope or expectation that I would share her story.
I was surprised to receive the letter. Charlotte had been silent throughout the consultation. Her face had looked so sad and empty that I thought it best to leave her alone. I was stunned to learn from reading that she was only 17-years-old. She looked much older. As I read on, it was easy to understand why.
Latest 2 of 33 commentsView all comments
Where would you go if you had to sleep rough? Would you sleep in a cemetery, a doorway, a drain, an abandoned building?
People who work with the homeless see and hear some amazing, dark stories – one of the oddest they tell is that desperate people have been known to sleep in cemeteries, even climbing into graves to find shelter and safety.
An Adelaide homeless man was found living in a drain a few years back – they worked out he’d been there for six years.
Latest 2 of 85 commentsView all comments
Each night in Australia 105,000 people are homeless, including 7,500 families. Each June leading Australian CEOs and business leaders sleep rough for one night in support of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.
Contrary to common perceptions about homelessness, 44 per cent of homeless people are women, many of these accompanied by children. It is a shocking fact that more than 12,000 Australian children under the age of 12 are experiencing some form of homelessness. A further 22,000 young people aged 12 to 18 are homeless, most of them estranged from their families. That’s more than 34,000 kids without a place they can call home.
Speaking at the recent launch of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout 2012, Dr John Falzon, St Vincent de Paul Society CEO, National Council said: “Children who are homeless are more likely to become homeless later in life and raise families who, in turn, also become homeless. You can guess why we haven’t solved the problem.”
One in 200 Aussies are homeless on any given day. And whenever a serious, intractable problem arises, commentators often suggest that the government raise an army of homeless people to fix it.
That’s what an American business has done. Except, not exactly with an army, and with the intent of solving a problem that’s more of the first world variety: Wireless internet access.
A marketing company has turned homeless people in Austin, Texas, into walking, talking wireless hot spots.
Is it just me or does your wireless router look like it could do with a feed and some warm, clean clothes?
Latest 2 of 54 commentsView all comments
As a relative newcomer to Sydney, I’ve discovered a phrase I almost never heard mentioned before I moved here: “Western Sydney”. As someone who lives in the Eastern Suburbs, the Western Suburbs aren’t really on my radar. I have little need to go out there.
I did, however, discover some new information about Western Sydney last weekend. Its new AFL team, the Giants, took the field against the Sydney Swans’ second XI. The hapless Giants kicked three goals and got smashed by over 100 points.
Wow. Furthermore, according to ABC’s Offsiders program, the NSW Government spent $45 million redeveloping a stadium which will play host to the team.
Latest 2 of 66 commentsView all comments
There are many things that trouble me about convicted paedophile Dennis Ferguson.
There is the debate about whether such offenders are ever capable of rehabilitation (I doubt it). There is the debate about whether we are doing enough to address the causal factors that hard wire this evil behaviour, transforming a person into a predator that destroys young people’s lives.
But one issue that seems to have escaped attention is how can a convicted paedophile from Queensland move to NSW and get himself a five year lease in public housing, while almost 40,000 more worthy tenants in NSW are waiting in the queue.
Latest 2 of 26 commentsView all comments
David Cappo is a priest.
But he is one of the most powerful South Australians. Sure, he’s Vicar-General of the Catholic Church, a Monsignor and Dean of the Cathedral. He’s also our State’s Social Inclusion Commissioner, with a free range over social policy.
Monsignor Cappo is a member of our powerful Economic Development Board, and - most importantly - sits on “Ex-Com”, the Executive Committee of Cabinet, which includes me, the Deputy-Premier, and senior Ministers. Cappo has clout, and in order to get things done he sometimes has to act more like the Inquisition than a confessor.
Latest 2 of 8 commentsView all comments
Walking to work this morning I saw a dead man sitting at a bus stop.
Well he wasn’t actually sitting, he was completely bent over from the waist and his hands dragged onto the concrete in front of him.
He was also surrounded by overfilled shopping bags and dressed in marked jeans and a grubby sweat shirt so at first glance I assumed he was homeless.
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…