Mission Australia needs help in supporting increasing numbers of people experiencing homelessness.
Australia is in the grip of a housing emergency, with 3,000 people calling on homelessness services every hour. Frontline workers say they’ve never seen a housing crisis this bad.
That’s why Mission Australia has launched its Winter Safe Homes Appeal, in a bid to destigmatise homelessness, and raise much-needed funds for people and families who are suffering.
The charity is appealing for donations, while also calling for more social and affordable homes to help people being pushed into homelessness.
Mission Australia’s CEO Sharon Callister described Australia’s housing shortage as a “pressure cooker” that’s causing Australia’s homelessness crisis to escalate
“People who have never been homeless in their lives are facing immense hardship and are reaching out for help,” Sharon said.
The latest census data revealed more than 122,000 people were homeless; an increase of 5.2% since the 2016 Census. Most of these people are facing “hidden homelessness”, which means they’re staying in severely overcrowded dwellings, refuges, boarding houses, or temporarily living with friends or family.
“We know from our experience and the data that people and families who are homeless are mostly hidden from plain sight… and are struggling in silence,” Sharon said.
She urged people in Australia’s Christian community to respond to the call of their faith and make a difference.
“As Christians there are steps we can take as a church community, while also calling on governments and other organisations to become more involved,” she said. “One of the simple things we can do is pray. We can pray that there is an end to homelessness and that we’ll be appropriately resourced. We can also donate to charities like Mission Australia and we can lobby and advocate to government.”
Every dollar donated will go into early intervention and prevention, case management to break the cycle of homelessness, and specialised support for people with mental health concerns or who are escaping domestic violence.
Funds raised will help people like:
- Eight-year-old Ruby* who has been living in a garage because her Dad, Justin* can’t afford to keep up with the ongoing rent increases;
- Single mum Laura* and her son Ollie*, who were forced to sleep in their car after escaping a violent partner;
- and Donna*, whose home was lost when a flood destroyed her regional community.
To help people like these to find them a safe home, donate at: missionaustralia.com.au/helpthiswinter or by phone on 1800 888868.
Mission Australia, a Christian homelessness charity, is one of Australia’s largest non-profits with more than 160 years experience working with Australians in need. With more than 2,200 staff and 465 programs and services, Mission Australia invests in housing, services and programs to help end homelessness in Australia and ensure people and communities in need can thrive.
*Names changed to protect identity.
For more information or interviews, contact Rachel Reva De Giorgio at [email protected].