No ig­nor­ing this prob­lem

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - Lisa Thomas

IMAG­INE be­ing scared to go to sleep for fear of be­ing robbed, beaten or sex­u­ally abused; to have nowhere to go, to feel in­vis­i­ble or to be la­belled a prob­lem in so­ci­ety.

The harsh re­al­ity of home­less­ness is one that we can­not ig­nore. We may have not ex­pe­ri­enced it first-hand but it could hap­pen to any­one.

Home­less shel­ters and dropin cen­tres around the Perth CBD are notic­ing an in­creas­ing trend of “new” home­less peo­ple. These peo­ple have nowhere else to go.

They have lost their jobs, their homes, faced re­la­tion­ship break­downs or have de­te­ri­o­rat­ing men­tal and phys­i­cal health.

The present eco­nomic cli­mate has seen an in­crease of peo­ple liv­ing on the streets and a change in the de­mo­graphic. Ser­vice providers are find­ing peo­ple who once lived in af­flu­ent ar­eas are be­ing forced onto the streets due to grow­ing un­em­ploy­ment and debt.

The 2011 Cen­sus showed there were just un­der 10,000 home­less peo­ple in WA, and I ex­pect the forth­com­ing Cen­sus will pro­vide new and star­tling fig­ures.

Home­less­ness should not be grow­ing in a coun­try like Aus­tralia.

Our State and Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s should be en­sur­ing there are more ser­vices.

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