30% increase in homelessness services across the state
With the demand for homelessness services rising, Housing Plus want people to know they are here to lend a hand.
On Friday, Housing Plus invited the community to join them for a barbecue at their Byng Street offices, to mark Homelesseness Week and show people what they, and their partner agencies, can do to help those in need.
“The purpose behind it is to make people who might be experiencing homelessness themselves or perhaps their friends and families members are experiencing homelessness, to make them aware of the services that are available to support them,” said Housing Plus CEO David Fisher.
“We can provide support to them, find accommodation, we are also able with our partner organisations to bring that support in to help people stay in that house.”
Mr. Fisher said they also want to make the general public aware that homelessness is taking place in Orange, even though it may not be so public.
“It is not on the streets, which you may see in other metropolitan areas,” he said. “In Orange it is hidden, in as much as a lot of people who haven't got a home of their own are having to live on couches of friends and families.”
And there are many more who may be at risk of becoming homeless as recent census data shows that around 13 percent of households living in Orange are living in rental stress.
“So that's more than 30 percent of their income is on housing costs, so I think part of it is the cost of housing and also a lack of housing being available,” said Mr. Fisher.
“The NSW government have different programs to increase the supply of housing, but unfortunately the demand is such that there is never enough… across the state there has been an approximate 30 per cent increase in demand for homelessness services and that gives you an indication of the lack of housing that's out there.”
Homelessness Week (6-12 August) is an annual, nationwide campaign to highlight the work of the homelessness sector and recognise barriers to ending homelessness across Australia.
It is an opportunity to raise awareness about why people become homeless, the effect on individuals and the community as a whole.
The 2018 Homelessness Week theme is Ending Homelessness Together.