MOST Australians are “six months away” from becoming homeless, according to Homeless Healthcare director Anne-Maree Ferguson.
The organisation, founded by Ms Ferguson in 2008, gives basic health care, mental health care and referrals to community services to people living on the streets of Perth.
“A change in work, health or personal circumstances can leave us without an income,” she said.
Ms Ferguson said people sleeping rough had a life expectancy of 45.5 years, compared to 80 years for average Australians.
“The most common problems I see among homeless people are mental disorders, alcohol and drug use, injuries and poor foot and mouth care.” she said.
A soup kitchen in US inspired Ms Ferguson to bring the Soup Kitchen to Brookfield Place during Homelessness Prevention Week.
“Everyday people like you and I can help by buying a cup of soup.
“It seems ludicrous that in a state like WA that there are more than 10,000 people sleeping out on the streets,” she said.
The Government House kitchen, The Sentinel, Print Hall, Crown Perth and the Trustee will sell soup at Brookfield Place every working day this week.
Trustee head chef Andre Mahe said his kitchen made 7080 litres of soup to serve city workers and raise money for Homeless Healthcare.
“We’re serving pumpkin soup and garlic croutons on Wednesday,” Mr Mahe said.
“We all know people are homeless and living in the street, but in a place like Perth, you don’t like to see social misery.”
Subiaco resident Anne Last said she had volunteered for the Soup Kitchen each year because she was passionate about mental health issues.
“I have loved seeing the increase in awareness of Homeless Healthcare from year one to year two,” Ms Last said.
The WA photographer behind Humans of WA, Stuart Holden will hold an exhibit in the foyer of the BHP building until Friday this week.
“The exhibition will have images of prominent West Australians with their views on homelessness,” Ms Ferguson said.
Trustee head chef Andre Mahe with Soup Kitchen volunteer Anne Last.