City opens to homeless
The City of Kwinana has adopted a new policy to address the increase in the number of homeless people in the region.
The City has recognised the need for a unified approach to the issue and introduced the Homelessness Policy to ensure at-risk individuals would be offered the help they need.
City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams admitted there was no easy solution but said the City was committed to making a meaningful difference.
“We want to make sure atrisk individuals are getting access to the services they need; this is an issue that cannot be ignored,” she said.
“In 2014 the council developed two community engagement positions to engage with, provide information to and refer as appropriate, at-risk individuals experiencing social disadvantage to agencies that can provide them with support services.
“After the marked increase of homeless people present at Wells Park in late 2015, these officers engaged with and have worked effectively with the group, achieving a significant reduction in homelessness.”
During Perth Registry Week in February, four homeless people were identified in the Kwinana area with 11 home- less people referred to the City’s services in April.
Community engagement officer Tom Wood said talking about the issue was important.
“Homeless people are just like us, it’s just their circumstances are a bit different,” he said.
The newly adopted policy will formalise the council’s response by providing a definition, a commitment to the provision of information, a commitment to working with agencies and a commitment to addressing the underlying causes of homelessness.
“Through a robust and equitable approach to addressing homelessness, the City hopes to achieve a reduction in persons experiencing homelessness, and associated improvements in community health and wellbeing,” Ms Adams said.
City of Kwinana community engagement officers Molly Titoko and Thomas Wood played a major role in the adoption of the Homelessness Policy.