Media Release Friday 3rd August 2018
Homelessness Week is a national event which aims to raise awareness and identify solutions to homelessness in Australia. Homelessness Week 2018 will be held from the 6th – 12th August and the theme is ‘Ending Homelessness Together’.
“Homelessness Week is an opportunity to focus on the plight of people experiencing homelessness in Australia, and in particular Tasmania. This year’s theme of ‘Ending Homelessness Together’ focuses on the importance of bringing people together in our community to tackle homelessness,” Shelter Tas Executive Officer, Pattie Chugg said.
Data shows that homelessness has worsened since the 2016 Census. The Census revealed that 1,622 people experience homelessness on any given night in Tasmania, and that most cases of homelessness are hidden.
“Homelessness is far more common than people think, with only 8% of the homeless population sleeping rough. We need to consider the other ‘invisible’ 92% of people who are in insecure, temporary, overcrowded and unsafe places. This can mean people sleeping in their car, couch-surfing or staying in motels or other short-term accommodation,” Ms Chugg said.
More than 74,000 Tasmanians live below the poverty line and with housing and rental stress on the rise, more and more Tasmanians are finding it impossible to obtain secure and affordable accommodation on a low income. In the year 2016-2017, homelessness services assisted nearly 8,000 Tasmanians, which is one in 66 people in Tasmania and higher than the national rate of 1 in 84.
“These figures are alarming, and they really highlight the importance of addressing homelessness in Tasmania specifically. Homelessness Week is the perfect time for the Tasmanian community to shine a light on homelessness issues and focus on the challenge of making sure that everyone has a place to call home,” Ms Chugg said.
Homelessness Week has gained momentum this year, with a variety of events across the State.
“Homelessness Week highlights the work that homelessness services do every day. This is not just another week on the calendar, homelessness impacts on people’s lives and this week has the potential to make a real difference to vulnerable Tasmanians as well as improve community awareness,” Ms Chugg said.
Lord Mayor Alderman Ron Christie will launch Homelessness Week 2018 at an event in Mathers Lane in Hobart on Monday 6th August, and a range of events and activities will be held across Tasmania during the week. All the events are listed on the Homelessness Week event calendar.
Shelter Tas would like to acknowledge our members who work towards ending homelessness, as well as all members of the community who have, or who are currently experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity.
For more information and comment, contact:
Pattie Chugg, Shelter Tas Executive Officer
0419 536 100, 03 6224 5488 or firstname.lastname@example.org.