National Homelessness Week calls for action to end homelessness in Queensland
Vinnies Queensland is calling for action this National Homelessness Week — Monday 7 August to Sunday 13 August — shining a light on the escalating number of Queenslanders struggling to find a place to call home.
As housing availability and cost-of-living across the state reaches breaking point, CEO Kevin Mercer said this year’s National Homelessness Week is a time for action and real change to support the 46,000 Queenslanders on the state housing waiting list, waiting more than two years on average for a home.
“Around half of all applications on the state waiting list are flagged as homeless or at risk of homeless – that’s tens of thousands of Queenslanders without a place to call home,” he said.
“Over the last financial year, we have seen an 15 per cent increase in the need for our services across the state, having supported nearly 250,000 residents in the last 12 months while many of our services are at capacity.
“Of the people coming to us for help, we’re seeing many new faces – families with steady incomes who are still falling behind, as costs of living and housing continue to increase,” he said.
“This year’s National Homelessness Week theme – It’s time to end homelessness – is a fitting call to action, as we do all we can to ensure Queenslanders have a roof over their head and a safe place to sleep.”
In addition to the services Vinnies Queensland provides to those in need, the charity continues to make ground on its 500 homes project – which will significantly impact hundreds of Queensland families.
Mr Mercer, said the project, along with the recent announcement by Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon to build 147 of these social and affordable homes in Toowoomba, Bundaberg and the Gold Coast, was a significant step in the right direction.
“Our 500 homes in five years program aims to double the Society’s housing stock and provide to Queenslanders in need,” he said.
“The state government’s support of Vinnies allows us to provide more than a place to live, we ensure residents have access to essentials to provide hope and security in the long term.”
“While we celebrated this announcement, we also recognise a crisis of this size takes all levels of government working together — united in our solutions to ending homelessness in Queensland,” he said.