Shel­ters at full ca­pac­ity

Maroochy Weekly - - NEWS -

HOME­LESS­NESS Week is co-or­di­nated by Home­less­ness Aus­tralia to raise aware­ness and will be held from Au­gust 7-13.

Sun­nyKids CEO Chris Turner has been at the fore­front of pro­vid­ing ser­vices and man­ag­ing shel­ters for al­most a decade and founded Sun­nyKids in 2009 for chil­dren at risk.

Mr Turner said peo­ple may be sur­prised to know that 75% of peo­ple liv­ing in Sun­nyKids’ home­less­ness ser­vices are chil­dren, mostly aged 0-12.

“The real prob­lem that we need to ad­dress is that home­less­ness is an out­come of in­ter­gen­er­a­tional dis­ad­van­tage – over 50% of the adults in our ser­vices were also home­less as chil­dren them­selves; there is a clear pat­tern.”

An­other is­sue is that the true pic­ture of home­less­ness is dif­fi­cult to gauge be­cause ser­vices are at full ca­pac­ity.

“Sun­nyKids pro­vides 7000 nights of ac­com­mo­da­tion per year for home­less peo­ple and two other lo­cal ser­vices are sim­i­larly full all the time,” Mr Turner said.

“We clearly need more and a rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent way of ap­proach­ing hous­ing for peo­ple in need, es­pe­cially our youngest mem­bers of the com­mu­nity who are at risk in many ways when home­less.

“Our chal­lenge as a wider com­mu­nity is to en­sure that we change the cir­cum­stances of chil­dren now, break­ing these pat­terns, so the next gen­er­a­tion of their fam­ily is not home­less.”

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