The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released two seminal reports that shine further light on homelessness in Western Australia.
The annual Specialist Homelessness Services Annual Report 2017-18 shows that on any given day in WA, 177 specialist homelessness services (SHS), (a drop of 6 per cent providers from 2017) support over 4,000 clients. Unfortunately, the need for support has remained constant over the last twelve months.
“These are worrying results. What’s disturbing, is that over 600 of those clients a day that presented to these SHS providers were young people aged 15-24 years. Since 2017, there has been an increase of over 5 per cent in the number of young people presenting. In addition, over 13 per cent of clients that presented each day had reported sleeping rough in the last months, a figure which has also increased,” said Ms Mackenzie.
In addition, the report found that each day there were on average 57 requests for assistance that couldn’t be met. “This demonstrates the ongoing and increased demand, and the pressures the services sector is experiencing as homelessness remains persistent in WA,” said Ms Mackenzie. “Whilst the State Government is progressing an important homelessness strategy more funding is needed to enable people to have a home with access to the services that they need, so they are not revolving in and out of crises.”
Debra Zanella from the Western Australian Alliance to End Homelessness (WAAEH) said, “The community services sector through the Alliance has been leading a collaborative and sector-led response to homelessness. Working in partnership with the State Government, people with lived experience and the broader community we can end homelessness through targeted investment and aligned effort. No one should be homeless in Western Australia.”
Michelle Mackenzie, CEO of Shelter WA, 0419 931 819 | Debra Zanella, CEO of RUAH and Member the WA End Homelessness Alliance, 0408 637 200.