Why are people homeless?
“Homelessness is not a choice. Homelessness is one of the most potent examples of disadvantage in the community, and one of the most important markers of social exclusion.” (Department of Human Services, 2002).
Homelessness can be caused by:
- Family violence
- A shortage of affordable housing
- Physical and/or mental health issues
- Unemployment or job loss
- Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction
- Family and relationship breakdown
- Not feeling safe at home
All of these factors, or a combination of them, can contribute to short-term or ongoing homelessness. Sometimes homelessness is a result of something as simple as losing your job, your car breaking down or some incident that stops you from being able to pay your rent or accommodation expenses.
Homelessness can affect anyone - it doesn't discriminate. People find themselves in unstable home situations that can range from uncomfortable to distressing and dangerous. Services, such as ours, try to help people experiencing homelessness find a permanent and safe place to live, a positive community connection, and services to help the underlying reasons for the person's homelessness.
Getting life back on track
We’re in it for the long haul and we want to journey with people, not only through their tough times, but afterwards too.
Finding a home
Helping people to overcome the underlying reasons for their homelessness is the first step. Whatever that reason might be, we help people access the services and support they need to get back on a track.
One young woman we journeyed with was a single mother experiencing homelessness and suffering from addiction. The first step was to organise care for the children while Mum entered our drug rehabilitation and recovery program. Afterwards we helped to arrange accomodation, employment opportunities and introduced the family to their local Salvos. Mum and the kids took part in local activities and programs, which helped bring stability and a sense of belonging.
Finding stability and a support network
Accommodation is not the only need of families who experience homelessness. We believe that apart from obvious needs such as employment, counselling and material aid, many families have a need for stability and support.
Wherever possible it is important to help those who find themselves experiencing homeless to establish support networks within the local community, and to put down roots.
To fully address the issue of homelessness, and to help create long-term stability, we have developed a continuum of care that ranges from early intervention, to crisis accommodation, medium-term care, and a range of support and rehabilitation services. We do everything we can to keep children in the same school and to journey with people and families.
All of our services work together to return people into secure accommodation, and to help them be a part of a local community. We love to see families find their place.
There can be concerns, different to the experience of an adult or a family, that contribute specifically to youth homelessness.