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Homeless rate rises

Monday, 30th May, 2016

By Emily Roberts

In Australia on any given night there are more than 100,000 people without a home, including 73 in Broken Hill.

A number of homelessness services across the nation have now joined forces to call on all political parties to make reducing homelessness a national priority.

In a joint letter to the four party leaders, the major charities Anglicare, Mission Australia, Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, UnitingCare Australia and Wesley Mission are demanding a commitment to halve homelessness by 2025.

According to Mission Australia, Broken Hill’s homeless rate will continue to rise if reducing the problem is not made a priority.

Local Program Manager from Mission Australia, Gina Dellar, said they have two homelessness services.

“We have the Young People’s Homeless and Housing Support Service and Reconnect Far West,” she said.

“The Young People’s  Homeless Service provides support for young people who are at risk or homeless by giving them access to safe and stable accommodation options.

“We also link people to the needed services, provide advocacy support and increase tenancy skills.

“We link with services that can provide support with the issues that may have lead to the homelessness.”

The Reconnect Service provides help to young people from the ages of 12 to 18 who are at risk due to family conflict or are disengaged.

Reconnect focuses on early intervention support, family reconciliation and connection.

“We have a fairly well-known presence and link with agencies and in schools to develop our presence,” Ms Dellar said. “It also means being active in the community.”

She said since July 1, they have supported over 200 young people.

“We also provide support to Wilcannia and Menindee,” she said.

Ms Dellar said Mission Australia operated from 9am to 5pm, five days a week.

“We can provide help for any young people experiencing difficulties, even families - we can provide a service or help refer them to a service.

“Mission Australia is a national organisation that is working with other organisations to put homelessness on the political agenda.”

As part of this, there is a petition online at https://www.change.org/p/homelessness-has-no-place-in-australia-i-votehome.

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