Tuesday 28th May
For immediate release
Melbourne woman Courtney Herron was thought to be sleeping rough when she was killed in a park this week. On any given night, around 120,000 are without a home; 40 per cent are women and 60 per cent are below the age of 35.
This morning on ABC News Breakfast, Anglicare Victoria CEO Paul McDonald appealed to the nation to hold a National Homelessness Summit to address the crisis of housing and homelessness in this country.
Mr McDonald said: “Aside from the violence in this tragic case concerning Courtney Herron, I think the thing that is shocking the public also is that people are sleeping in parks at such a young age; we’re past crisis point on homelessness in this country for access to social housing. That is why nothing short of a National Homelessness Summit, that brings all tiers of Government together, will be sufficient in solving this issue.
Mr McDonald also called for all newly elected Federal MPs to visit a homelessness agency in their first month of office and personally gain an understanding of the crisis in housing, and the lives and hardships people are facing every day.
Research has identified that the stock of social housing in Australia has not grown in 20 years, despite the population increasing by 33 per cent.
“In the affluent Australia we live in, we can’t let such horrific events unfold in our communities without asking whether we are failing our homeless young men and women. This tragedy is shocking, but our test is whether we are prepared to act and ensure it doesn’t happen again,” said Mr McDonald.
To coordinate an interview with Paul McDonald, CEO of Anglicare Victoria, please contact:
Sarah Baird, Senior Media Advisor at Anglicare Victoria:
E: firstname.lastname@example.org or P: 0409 035 117