Why do we need a World Homeless day?
Especially as, in recent months, there has been increasing media attention on the causes of homelessness and how government and non-government sectors should be responding.
No doubt, homelessness is a complex issue. In the past few years, The Ian Potter Foundation has supported programs that aimed to prevent homelessness. It has been a steep learning curve, in an ever changing environment, but we have learned that, while homelessness can be tackled with multiple intervention strategies, it is essential to understand and address the drivers and circumstances that contribute to an individual or families becoming homeless.
Many of these causes such as domestic violence, family breakdown, incarceration, mental health, and financial capacity are now being widely discussed. In response, many different solutions are also being proposed from government, corporate and social sectors.
Here, we offer two case studies which are great examples of organisations we have suported that are addressing the causes of homelessness in an innovative and sustainable way.
Justice Connect helps prisoners to address legal and tenancy matters that if left unresolved would cause individuals to exit custody to precarious circumstances and almost inevitably to homelessness.
Kids Under Cover, on the other hand, provides studio apartments for young people who would otherwise need to leave their family home to uncertain if not hazardous accommodation.
Perhaps ultimately, the purpose of World Homeless Day is to remind us of homeless people’s needs locally and provide the community with opportunities to get involved in responding to homelessness. Sometimes solving one small problem such as helping someone become a viable tenant or giving someone their own space can prevent a range of other problems occurring at all.
Find out more about World Homeless Day and what's happening in your community.