Homelessness Prevention Week
This week is Homelessness Prevention Week in Australia and the major public event in the Hunter is the annual Homelessness Connect Day at the PCYC.
This is a great day where homeless people and others on a low income can meet with service providers and other interested people from the community concerned for the welfare of others.
So there will be doctors, hairdressers, podiatrists, financial counsellors, housing providers, job network agencies, Centrelink, Op Shops with clothing, blankets and toiletries, all coming together to assist homeless people in the Hunter. Numbers of homeless people are too high and at the policy level we would like to see:
- More attention to preventing domestic and family violence, which is the cause of 24% of the homeless numbers
- Tax incentives for property developers to move away from high cost developments to concentrate more on affordable housing. Too many people are driven into poverty by high rents
- The issue of after care for children leaving foster care must be addressed. Too many are leaving foster care to join the ranks of the homeless, which is quite unacceptable. Samaritans, together with other agencies, are calling for young people leaving care to be guaranteed after care support at least until the age of 21.