Every night there are 116,000 Australians sleeping without a home. They are mothers and children escaping family violence, young people with little support, families unable to keep up with rent, people living with disabilities. Once, homelessness was thought by many to be something that happens to other people, but that’s changing.
Homelessness is a growing crisis in Australia. Rising interest rates mean landlords have needed to increase rents. Add to rising rents the increase in cost of living and basic necessities such as food and heating and you can understand why, for many families living on Centrelink payments, housing has become simply unaffordable.
Homelessness 2022 (1-7 August) is an annual campaign run by Homelessness Australia that seeks to raise awareness around people experiencing homelessness, the issues they face, and the action that needs to be taken.
The theme for this year’s Homelessness Week is ‘to end homelessness we need a plan’, and at SSRV we believe that plan needs to address the rate of Centrelink payments and issues of equality and accessibility to social security.
Without a livable rate of social security, families will continue to be unable to afford to pay rent. Without equal access to social security, the number of the most vulnerable people in our communities experiencing homelessness will continue to grow.
This Homelessness Week, you can help raise awareness by sharing your stories, thoughts, ideas and concerns about homelessness and housing on social media, using the hashtag #HW2022.
This week and beyond, SSRV will continue to work for real change to our social security system, while providing free legal advice on social security and Centrelink matters for people right across Victoria.