National Homelessness Week
Ending homelessness is possible in Australia
The Salvation Army is the leading provider of homelessness services in Australia. In 2019-20, The Salvation Army’s homelessness services assisted more than 41,000 people who were at risk of or experiencing homelessness [SOURCE: The Salvation Army Annual Report, 2019-20].
Our vast network of social services enables people experiencing homelessness to access accommodation, case management services, advocacy, financial assistance, counselling and meals, as well as connection and referral to other specialist services.
We also work with National and State Homelessness and Housing peak bodies and government agencies to work towards sustainable solutions to end homelessness. We believe that everyone should have access to having safe, secure and affordable housing. When communities invest in social and affordable housing, we can end homelessness. Learn more about our homelessness services
Homelessness and the meaning of ‘home’
National Homelessness Week (1-7 August) is an annual campaign coordinated by Homelessness Australia. It seeks to raise awareness around people experiencing homelessness, the issues they face, and the action needed to achieve long-lasting solutions, including increasing the supply of social housing.
This year, The Salvation Army’s key theme for National Homelessness Week 2021 is: Unlocking the door to ‘home’.
‘Home’ is a word rich with emotion and meaning. For many, it evokes images of a place of warmth, shelter and safety. It is a place where there can be family; it is a base for life. Home is a sanctuary, a place to retreat to, a place to heal emotionally and physically, and a place of comfort. There is privacy, security, longevity and connection.
It is also a place where one can build relationships, develop a life, and offer care and hospitality. A person’s ‘home’ could also refer to the local community and neighbourhood – including a welcoming and compassionate school or church community. Having a home means having a place to belong or a connection to land or Country.
Sadly, for some 116,000 Australians [ABS 2016], ‘home’ is not all these things. For people experiencing homelessness, home is unsafe, it is transient, it is constantly threatened. A roof over a head is not a home. Feeling insecure or vulnerable is not feeling ‘at home’. Having a bed to sleep in doesn’t mean a person has a ‘home’.
Without a safe and stable home, children can’t invite friends over to play. Without long-term stability, it is hard to commit to a job, schooling or relationships. Without a place of comfort, there is no place for healing – physically, emotionally, mentally. The Salvation Army recognises there are many barriers to people finding a place to call ‘home’. These doors that are locked can be opened with the help of the Australian public.
Find out how you can help us unlock the doors to ‘home’.
Australian homelessness statistics and facts
Understanding the problem of homelessness is the first step towards solutions. Get informed on our homelessness statistics page and learn what The Salvation Army is doing to help.
What does ‘home’ mean to you?
When you think about ‘home’, what comes to mind? A safe, comfortable and inviting space? Explore the meaning of home with us.