While the state of the Queensland economy and jobs have been a key focus in the lead up to the State Election, little has been said about the impact of measures that rein in State debt on our most vulnerable.
The reality is that many individuals and families can slide into homelessness with one major hit to their income, whether this be losing their jobs or a change to their government income. A strong state needs to consider not only the economic pillars, but the social infrastructure pillar as well.
As the saying goes “a state is judged on the basis of how it treats those who are most vulnerable “. Community sector partners of the 500 Lives 500 Homes campaign (Listed below) are therefore calling for bipartisan support for social infrastructure that will ensure an ongoing and effective response to homelessness.
The current State and Federal governments have committed to an ongoing National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, which will cease as of September this year. A national agreement to responding to homelessness is vital. State borders should not mean a differential response to homelessness. A bipartisan commitment to continuing this agreement is vital, not only economically but to the families and individuals who find themselves without a home.
These families include children whose schooling, friends and lives are disrupted and who experience the loss of their sense of security. The 2011 census found that nationally 18% of homeless people were children under 12.
A significant number of young people aged 12 to 18 years are also homeless with many ‘couch surfing’ and their numbers in the Census is considered to be an underestimation. If the National Agreement does not continues, thousands of people will be without services.
The 2011 Census found that there were 4324 people who were homeless in the Brisbane area. The 500 lives 500 homes campaign is the Brisbane effort of the Home for Good initiative working toward housing 500 households over the next three years.
Housing affordability has been a critical issue for many Queenslanders, and this is especially so for those on low incomes. As part of the 500 lives 500 homes campaign, we have been working hard on seeking housing and support solutions for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The campaign has highlighted the importance of responding to individuals and families via a strong partnership between the government and community sector, each bringing their collective strengths to the table
Since the Brisbane Registry in March 2014, the campaign has housed 119 households, families and individuals, but there are many more still waiting for housing.
More info: http://www.500lives500homes.org.au/
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE FOLLOWING ORGANISATIONS:
- Anglicare Southern Queensland
- Australian Red Cross
- Brisbane Youth ServicE
- Common Ground Queensland
- Kyabra Community Association
- Local Government Association of Queensland
- Micah Projects
- St Vincent de Paul
- Supported Accommodation Providers Association (SAPA)
- The Salvation Army- Australia Eastern Territory
- Wesley Mission Brisbane