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More homeless

MORE people are sleeping rough since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak and over 50 per cent of those seeking homelessness support is aged 19 to 25.

Area manager at Mission Australia Campsie, Sae Masina says non-government organisations are working closely with the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) with the aim of cutting street homelessness in half by 2025.
He said they were also trying to establish a baseline to understand the priorities, and where the rough sleepers and the actual hotspots were.
“We know some of them because of some of the work we’ve been doing in the outreach space, and in particular with the food drop offs and the kitchen hubs that are often provided through community centres such as PCYC or up at St Vinnies,” he said.
While Mission Australia works to support people living on the streets into stable housing, Mr Masina said they also tried to help prevent [homelessness] by getting in quickly to stop people falling through the gaps.
That can include advocacy to real estate agents or community housing providers, or through Mission Australia’s own transitional or temporary emergency accommodation within the LGA, as well as emergency relief to help with utility bills or food hampers.
Mr Masina said one figure from DCJ, showed that 59 per cent of those seeking homelessness support were aged 19 to 25, although there has also been an increase in families seeking help, including people experiencing domestic violence or relationship breakdowns.
Praising the volunteers working in this space, he said even during the pandemic they had been willing to risk themselves to give back to the community.
“They do that because they love the community and they love the work that they do,” he said.
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