Where are you sleeping tonight? For many Shoalhaven residents on any given night, they do not have an answer.
The shift from a stable housing situation to homelessness can be a swift slide, with men over 35 making up the majority of those who are classified as chronically homeless across Australia.
Financial crises, family and relationship breakdowns and a lack of affordable housing are all major risk factors for older men who face homelessness. Men are also less likely than women to seek help for housing and homelessness related issues, often due to the stigma surrounding personal or professional crisis.
Shoalhaven City Council is proud to be supporting The Shoalhaven Homelessness Taskforce in partnership with members of the community and industry representatives. The taskforce provides Council with strategic advice on homelessness issues at a Local Government level.
Since it was established, the Taskforce has focused on advocating community views on homelessness issues. By revealing the relatable human elements behind homelessness, and the many diverse and often unexpected ways in which a person can quickly become homeless; the Taskforce aims to foster support and understanding from the community to help change common misconceptions around homelessness.
Mayor Amanda Findley, Chair of the Taskforce is encouraging Shoalhaven residents to watch for signs of hardship with friends, colleagues and acquaintances. “Asking for and receiving help early on in a crisis can mean the difference between getting through a hard time or ending up homeless. It is important to check in early with people who are or might be experiencing a significant life event or hardship. A common sign of someone who is homeless is that they are moving from one temporary solution to another, until they find permanent and secure accommodation.” Clr Findley said.
Shoalhaven Homeless Services are always looking for an extra helping hand, if you have time to spare for these organisations or can donate, click here or visit Shoalhaven City Council’s website - www.shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au/My-Community/Community-Services/Homeless-Protocol
If you are looking for support with a crisis, housing, food, clothing or other support in the Shoalhaven, click here or details can be found on the following link: www.path2home.org.au/wp-content/uploads/shoalhaven-path-2-home-directory-2015-v3-updated-sept-2015.pdf