Shelter Tas Media Statement – Homelessness Week, 5 – 11 August 2019
Shelter Tas MEDIA RELEASE 2 August 2019
Homelessness Week raises awareness of people experiencing homelessness, the issues they face and the actions needed to achieve enduring solutions. Homelessness Week events are held across Australia each year in the first week of August. Homelessness Week 2019 takes place from the 5th – 12th August. For the first time, the National Launch will take place in Hobart with both the Federal Minister and Shadow Minister in attendance. The 2019 theme is ‘Housing Ends Homelessness’.
“Homelessness Week is an opportunity to focus on the wide range of people experiencing homelessness in Australia. In Tasmania, awareness about homelessness has increased significantly in recent years, with the chronic shortage of housing the flip side of our booming economy. The theme ‘Housing ends homelessness’ makes it clear that homelessness is only solved when we all have a home we can count on. It is very difficult to raise a family, go to work, maintain our health and be part of a local community without a good place to live” Shelter Tas Chief Executive Officer, Pattie Chugg said.
“We know the number one cause of homelessness is the lack of affordable housing. This year’s focus is on bringing together the housing and services that people need to end homelessness” Ms Chugg said.
“Homelessness is far more common than people think. Of the 1600 people counted in the 2016 Census, only 8% were sleeping rough. We need to consider the other ‘invisible’ 92% of people who are in insecure, temporary, overcrowded and unsafe places. This can mean people sleeping in their car, couch-surfing or staying in motels or other short-term accommodation,” Ms Chugg said.
“Over 120,000 Tasmanians live below the poverty line and 8,000 households are living in housing stress. More and more Tasmanians on low and moderate incomes struggle to find secure and affordable accommodation. Homelessness affects all age groups, especially younger and older members of our community. Nearly 2 in 5 people experiencing homelessness are under 25, and 1 in 5 are over 55 years old,” Ms Chugg said.
Homelessness services assisted 6,500 Tasmanians in financial year 2017-2018. The average number of daily unmet requests for assistance has increased by 33% over the previous 2 years. The last year has 28 unmet requests per day across the state.
“These figures are alarming, and they really highlight the importance of addressing homelessness in all regions of Tasmania. Homelessness Week is a vital time for the Tasmanian community to focus on the challenge of making sure that everyone has a place to call home,” Ms Chugg said.
“Homelessness Week highlights the work that homelessness services do every day. This is more than another week on the calendar, homelessness impacts on people’s lives. This week has the potential to make a real difference to vulnerable Tasmanians as well as improve community awareness,” Ms Chugg said.
National Launch Homeless Week Monday 5th August
Mathers Lane, Hobart
- Musical Performances – Orana, Monique Brumby, Roadhouse Ravens
- 50/50 Art Project Soap Box Launch
- Jenny Smith, Chair of Homelessness Australia & CEO of Council to Homeless Persons
- Kate Kelly, Hobartians Facing Homelessness & Housing with Dignity
- Hobart Lord Mayor, Councillor Anna M. Reynolds
- Hon Luke Howarth MP, Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services
- Hon Jason Clare MP, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness
- Pattie Chugg, CEO Shelter Tas
- Danny Sutton, CEO, Colony 47
Media are welcome to attend.
The Shelter Tas website lists the events held across Tasmania during Homelessness Week.
The nearly 20 events across the state include:
- Youth, Family and Community Connections (YFCC) HELP Film Festival in Devonport, presenting student-made films on the topic of homelessness and ‘paying it forward’
- Salvos Breakfast and Blankets – multiple locations
- Entertainment, Art and Bingo – Republic Bar, Hobart
- Information and Sausage Sizzle – Launceston City Mission, Launceston City Council, CatholicCare and Anglicare
- Salvos Sleepout Hobart
- Soundscape and projection installations across the state
For all events and details, please see the Homelessness Week 2019 calendar.
For comment, please contact:
Pattie Chugg, CEO Shelter Tasmania
M: 0419 536 100