Spark of hope for homelessness

Homelessness Week 2022 was acknowledged from 1-7 August 2022 and Department of Communities (Communities) staff from the Fremantle and Perth office showed their support for people experiencing homelessness by giving generously to our donations drive for two unfunded services that do significant work, Perth Homeless Support Group and Passages Youth Engagement Hub.

Donations collected in Perth during Homelessness Week 2022.

Passages Youth Engagement Hub located in Perth was one of the stops on the Shelter WA immersive Lived Experience Walking Tour which saw over 20 Communities staff register to participate and experience confronting and moving insights into a day in the life of a person sleeping rough. Josh Serafini, who had previous lived experience of homelessness, led the tour and staff through the streets of Perth.

There were visits to well-known ‘squatting’ sites, a former emergency accommodation site for the homeless Jewel House and the Uniting WA Tranby Engagement Hub, Perth’s first co-designed and purpose-built crisis intervention space for people experiencing homelessness.

Communities staff participating in lived experience walking tour
Communities staff with members of our Office of Homelessness team on the Shetler WA lived Experience Walking Tour.

During Homelessness Week, Communities supported the Shelter WA events program which had the theme of ‘Housing, health and homelessness’. The week of events shone the light on the collective action needed by community and government to reduce the number of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Staff from the Office of Homelessness standing up at the Shelter WA event
Staff from the Office of Homelessness attending a Shelter WA event (left to right) Andrew Joske, Lauren Quintal, Gayle Mitchell and Zara Wakely with Executive Director Jacqui Herring (second right) and Chief Executive Officer of Shelter WA Michelle MacKenzie (first right).

Homelessness Minister John Carey provided a State Government Update during the week and touched upon the significant work of the Office of Homelessness, Community Services and Housing and Assets, as well as those working across Communities to reduce the number of people who are homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

Together we continue to deliver on the WA Government’s $ 2.4 billion investment over four years to improve the quality and accessibility of social housing and homelessness services. This work is underpinned by a high-quality Homelessness Strategy that was co-designed with sector partners.

There is still a lot of hard work required to ensure all Western Australians have a safe place to call home. Through services such as Boorloo Bidee Mia – which celebrated its first year of operation during Homelessness Week this year– and assertive outreach programs like HEART and the Safe Perth City Initiative, we are demonstrating the progress that can be made when Government and community services work together for a common goal.

Homelessness Minister John Carey with Chief Executive Officer of Wungening acknowledging the first year of operation at Boorloo Bidee Mia
Homelessness Minister John Carey (pictured first right) with Daniel Worthington Chief Executive Officer of Wungening (pictured second left) acknowledging the first year of operation at Boorloo Bidee Mia.

Members of the Communities Office of Homelessness team were up bright and early during Homelessness Week to serve breakfast at the Uniting WA Tranby Engagement Hub. Sometimes all a person who is experiencing homelessness wants is a simple breakfast, a hot shower and someone to listen to their story. Services like the one at Tranby provide all this, offering a spark of hope. A simple helping hand to homelessness service providers like this can make a huge difference to the lives of vulnerable Western Australians.

Members of the Office of Homelessness team at Uniting WA Tranby Engagement Hub helping out make breakfast in the kitchen
Members of the Office of Homelessness team at Uniting WA Tranby Engagement Hub helping out at breakfast during Homelessness Week 2022.

Homelessness is a complex and challenging social issue and the important work being done by service providers is deserving of appreciation. That is why for the first time in 2022, Communities organized the showcase of important Homelessness Week messages on city screens in Yagan Square, City of Perth Northridge Piazza and Forrest Place – to say thank you to all service providers, highlight the importance of working together and to show our support for people who are sleeping rough.

Yagan Square, City of Perth Northridge Piazza showcasing Homelessness Week poster that reads
Homelessness Week messages on city screens in City of Perth.

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