Homelessness on the rise
However, what we may believe is homelessness is not the only form, so who is regarded as homeless?
Under the ABS definition, a person can be considered homeless if their current living arrangement:
• is in a dwelling that is inadequate
• has no tenure, or if their initial tenure is short and not extendable, or
• does not allow them to have control of, and access to space for social relations.
Sleeping in a tent, ‘couch surfing’ or shelter accommodation are all also classified forms of homelessness.
Many of those that seek help are struggling due to financial difficulties, housing crisis, family violence or living in inappropriate dwellings.
From the HRHN report, in the Hume region Victoria 20% of all homelessness is due to financial difficulties, 11.2% due to family violence and 6.4% due to relationship breakdowns.
Rough sleeping, meaning that on the streets, makes up only 7% of homelessness.
However following statistics throughout Australia, a vast majority of homeless are likely to be men with mental health issues.
Many of those suffering in the Moira region included those doing seasonal work such as fruit pickers who were on three monthly seasonal work or roadwork tradesmen.
Throughout the Goulburn Ovens Murray region, which covers the areas of Shepparton, Moira, Alpine, Benalla, Wangaratta and Wodonga, the region also features worrying numbers in:
• A greater proportion of people who are
• 11.3% were students. • A high proportion with no income at all. • A high rate of people exiting prison. • Lower rates of diagnosed mental health issues.
Youth unemployment and domestic violence have also played a part in the increasing number of young people finding themselves in housing troubles.
In next weeks Chronicle we will look into the aspects of youth unemployment and domestic violence that may lead to homelessness and speak to a Homelessness Support Worker from Yarrawonga Health to cast light on the figures in the local region and what assistance a local service like Yarrawonga Health can provide in this time of need.