August 1st, 2022Homelessness Week
Free hot soup and musical entertainment will be on offer at the Mechanics Institute in Kyneton this Tuesday, August 2, as the community gathers together to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness across both Australia and more locally in regional Victoria.
In Australia there are over 116,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night and Homelessness Week which runs from August 1 to 7 aims to educate people on what homelessness looks like and how they can make a difference.
Sleeping rough accounts for only seven per cent of homelessness with other forms including couch surfing, staying with friends and sleeping in cars or tents.
With the increase in interest rates, rental prices and the rising cost of utilities, fuel and groceries, housing insecurity is expected to increase.
Sunbury and Cobaw Community Health’s small team of housing workers based in Kyneton provide support for people who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness. This can include assisting with finding short-term emergency accommodation in a hotel or motel, as well as case management and advocacy to put in place supports to improve someone’s situation and find long-term housing but options are increasingly limited.
“There are only a small number of public housing properties in the Macedon Ranges, all with long-term tenants,” says Kate Weston, who leads the housing team at Sunbury and Cobaw Community Health. “There has been very little movement over the past few years with limited vacancies becoming available.”
“In the past 12 months we have assisted over 200 families and individuals, 28 of those have been young people under the age of 25. We have also responded to 48 emergency accommodation requests.”
The organisation sees housing affordability impacting people across the whole community including older men and women who are finding themselves unable to afford the rising costs of housing after 50 years of living and working in the community, young people, families, and women and children fleeing family violence.
The soup kitchen is at the Kyneton Mechanics Institute, 81 Mollison Street on Tuesday, August 2 from noon to 1pm.