Homelessness Week 2018 Blog
Held every year in August, Homelessness Week, aims to raise awareness towards those experiencing homelessness in our community.
This year, this fantastic awareness campaign is being held between the 6th and 12th of August with the theme 'Ending homelessness together'.
Mentis Assist wholly supports such a vital cause. Unfortunately, the issue of homelessness is one that is increasing in our communities. Awareness and support are crucial in ending homelessness. As of now, there are more than 116,000 Australians homeless, and on any given night, 1 in 200 people are homeless.
Homelessness Week enables our community to raise awareness of such an important issue in our society as we strive to come together and make a difference for those homeless on our streets.
Why are people homeless?
Homelessness is often a result of a number of complex issues which can include poverty, excessive bills, family violence and is often related to mental illness.
Impact of homelessness
Homelessness can result in significant social and economic costs not just to individuals and families, but also the community as a whole.
To an individual, homelessness makes it difficult to maintain school or further study and leaves people vulnerable to long-term unemployment and chronic ill-health.
Homelessness can also cause depression, poor nutrition, poor dental health, substance abuse, in addition to mental health issues.
According to a Report by Mission Australia’s Youth Mental Health and Homelessness, young people with serious mental illness are 3.5 times more likely to have spent time away from their homes, mainly resulting from high levels of family conflict or from living in poverty. The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that one in six Australians aged 15-24 are living in poverty.
Research shows that people who experience homelessness at an early age are more likely to experience persistent homelessness in adulthood. Continued homelessness also increases the likelihood of developing anxiety and depression and long term mental health issues.
- More than 116,000 people are Homeless in Australia
- On any given night in Australia 1 in 200 people are homeless and sleeping on the streets
- 255,657 people received support and almost seven million nights of accommodation were provided by specialist homelessness services in 2014-15
56% are Males
44% are Females
38% are under the age of 25
Source: Homelessness Australia, Fact Sheet (2016)
How you can help the Homeless
Everyone can be a part in improving Homelessness in Australia. By giving your time, resources and skills, you can help make a difference in the life of a homeless person.
Educate yourself. There are a variety of resources out there that can educate you about the reasons why a person becomes homeless— lack of aﬀordable housing, loss of a job, divorce, illness, substance abuse, domestic abuse, etc. One of the first steps you can take towards helping the homeless is trying to understand how they got there in the first place.
Show some respect. Don't treat a homeless person as if they are invisible. When you pass a homeless person, try to strike up a conversation or ask how they are going.
Breaking the stigma against homeless people is an important step in helping them regain their lost dignity.
Donate. Donate any clothing items that you no longer need or wear. Non-perishable items are always in short supply at food pantries and homeless shelters. Other items that might be needed include blankets, coats, books and small kitchen items, such as cups and utensils.
Volunteer. Sign up to work an evening shift at your local homeless shelter. An extra hand is always welcome, your spare couple of hours each shift, could really help someone in need.