Anglicare Victoria has kick-started the conversation of Australia’s homelessness crisis: calling for bold problem solving and unified leadership across federal, state and local government.
Following the murder of Courtney Herron – a young woman who had been attacked while sleeping rough in Melbourne earlier this year – CEO Paul MacDonald was interviewed on ABC News Breakfast in relation to homelessness. In the interview, Paul called for national, state and local governments to take the issue of homelessness seriously, and recognise it for what it is: a growing crisis directly affecting well over one hundred thousand Australians.
After decades of ambivalence from all levels of governments, the problem of providing affordable housing to Australia’s growing population has become out of hand, and risks undermining strategies around the state into domestic violence and mental health issues. With over-crowded emergency housing wait rooms, compromised and unsafe living arrangements, street sleeping and no access to affordable rental opportunities for thousands of lower income earners, it’s a problem that can no longer be ignored.
Paul’s interview on ABC successfully ignited a nationwide conversation and has helped trigger the announcement of a homelessness summit, led by the country’s Lord Mayors. Anglicare Victoria welcomes this as an opportunity to address these factors with an appropriate strategy.
The complexity of the issue requires a coordinated approach for it to be solved. It will require bold and fresh thinking, drawing from effective solutions from around the world. Anglicare Victoria sees the summit as an important event for the nation, bringing all tiers of government and the community together, with a sense of urgency in what is Australia’s most critical social problem.