Shelter WA would like to thank you for your involvement in Homelessness Week 2017. This national week is an important vehicle to shine a light on some of the key issues in homelessness, and more importantly to work towards an end to homelessness in Australia.
Shelter WA, with the support of the Homelessness Week Reference Group, agreed ‘Let’s end homelessness, not just manage it’ would be the theme in WA.
The key messages for Homelessness Week 2017 in WA were:
- Any one of us could fall into homelessness;
- Homelessness cannot be an accepted part of society; and
- Working together, we can end homelessness in WA.
It was a busy week, with over 300 people attending Shelter WA events, and hundreds more attending over 20 events throughout WA, from Broome to Esperance. There was also significant State and National radio and print media, with Dr. Amanda Stafford’s research into repeat hospital admissions and homelessness featured in the West Australian.
Shelter WA’s events included: Homelessness Week WA Launch, with a discussion on how we can work towards ending homelessness, not just managing it; Mental Health, Housing and Homelessness Event, which covered how government can work more effectively to improve housing outcomes for those with severe mental illness and how the community sector can be a key driver in this reform process; and a Closing Workshop, which explored how future Homelessness Weeks can best support the goal of ending homelessness, and link in with other campaigns and activities.
We would like to thank the speakers who contributed their knowledge and expertise during the week. There were many excellent discussions, which will help drive Shelter WA’s work in key areas, including:
- Informing the State’s Homelessness in WA Strategy;
- Ongoing advocacy for the development of an affordable housing and homelessness system through the Machinery of Government reforms and Service Priority Review;
- Informing appropriate housing outcomes within the Mental Health Commission’s ‘Better Choices. Better Lives’ Plan and the ‘Accommodation and Support Strategy’, which sits under this plan;
- Supporting the End Homelessness Alliance in developing and implementing a 10-year plan to end homelessness in WA; and
- Crafting next year’s Homelessness Week building on input and feedback received.
Over $1,400 was raised for our program partner 50 Lives 50 Homes - a project that demonstrates the benefit of a collaborative Housing First approach to homelessness in WA.
There is plenty of work that still needs to be done, but it was encouraging to see the energy and support that was shown during Homelessness Week 2017 – which we thank you for.
To continue to be involved in the goal of ending homelessness in WA, Shelter WA encourages you to register your support for the #EndHomelessnessWA campaign at www.endhomelessnesswa.com.
On a final note, we would like to give special thanks to the sponsors and supporters of Homelessness Week 2017: Lotterywest; Department of Communities; 882 6PR; Community Newspaper Group; Anglicare WA; Beyond Bank; Bankwest; Hesta and UnitingCare West.
Only through our combined efforts we can we make a significant impact and end homelessness in WA.