A cold night isn’t much, but it can make all the difference

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During the pandemic, there was an unprecedented government response with strategies including unprecedented investments in emergency and temporary housing for the homeless. There was also a series of short-term initiatives to help those at risk of homelessness stay housed, such as moratoriums on evictions and rent increases, and income supports such as JobSeeker and JobKeeper.

“We tend to assume that the problem of homelessness is visible to us through the many people we meet on our way to work or sleeping rough in our neighborhoods. But that’s only a small fraction of the thousands of people struggling with homelessness in Australia. “

It all helped keep people housed all winter long – and reduce the spread of COVID-19 among the homeless. Much of that short-term support is disappearing as many of us otherwise have the luxury of getting back to normal.

I can’t help but think, we are in Australia, we can do better than see someone sleeping on our streets.

Not always what you think

We tend to assume that the problem of homelessness is visible to us through the many people we meet on our way to work or sleeping rough in our neighborhoods. But that’s only a small fraction of the thousands of people struggling with homelessness in Australia.

The most important part of the homelessness problem is much less visible – it is the individuals and families who sleep in cars, on sofas and in informal and transitional arrangements such as couch surfing. In any night more than 100,000 people live in makeshift housing, overcrowded housing, boarding houses, hostels, caravans or sleep on the streets.

The experience of homelessness is varied and affects people of all ages and backgrounds.



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