We can’t afford to ignore it
The St Vincent de Paul Society believes housing is a human right and we join with other organisations in support of the National Homeless Persons’ Week (August 4 to 10).
Homeless Persons’ Week (HPW) is coordinated by Homelessness Australia and funded in part by the Department of Social Services.
This year’s theme is ‘Homelessness: we can’t afford to ignore it’ highlights the toll homelessness takes on individuals and the wider community.
It is a toll that members of the St Vincent de Paul Society see firsthand. During HPW community organisations will be highlighting the following facts about homelessness:
Homelessness harms individuals
Homelessness negatively affects a person’s whole life and prevents them from leading happy, productive lives. Homelessness impacts people physically, mentally and socially.
Homelessness costs governments
Homelessness is more than the absence of a home – it can be driven and compounded by interwoven conditions and problems. As a consequence, homelessness leads to a high use of public support services. On average, the Commonwealth Government spends $15,000 on services for each Australian. People experiencing homelessness will cost the government $30,000 more each year. Australian governments spend millions of dollars each year dealing with the effects of homelessness. Studies have shown that addressing homelessness reduces costs to government. Homelessness services assist people to achieve positive change in their lives, which reduced their use of other services.
Homelessness impacts on society
A safe and suitable place to live underpins a full and healthy life. Homelessness affects all members of society by reducing the quality of life for everyone. Ending, and preventing, homelessness means that resources can be used to meet other communal needs.