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Albany Community Services Come together on Homelessness
Community partners including Albany Youth Support Association, Anglicare WA, Albany Community Foundation, Southern Aboriginal Corporation, Albany Community Legal Centre, Pivot, And Advance Housing came together on May 2nd to undertake Albany’s first homelessness Connections Event to gather real data on Homelessness in Albany. 82 participants representing 130 people experiencing homelessness when partners and dependents are included, shared their experiences with the collaborating partners. The event was supported by the Office of Homelessness, Department of Communities, City of Albany, WA Police, and Great Southern Aboriginal Health Service. Participants were provided access to a hot meal, flu and covid vaccines, private discussions with services for support, access to warm clothing, direct referrals to support services, and importantly acknowledgement of their circumstance.
What did we learn:
- Proof that our collective experience as community organisations of homelessness is a much bigger problem than government data has previously shown.
- That there was a larger proportion of people between 20 and 39 than expected given the broader demographics of Albany.
- Rough sleeping is a massive, albeit largely hidden problem here, as is the impact of families living in cars, families experiencing overcrowding through relying on family for insecure housing. When you compare it to the Metro area the rate of homelessness is much higher.
- People will engage with services if given a safe place to do so.
- Undertake additional connections events to engage with affected people in our community.
- Advocate for funding to capture and monitor homelessness data on an ongoing basis.
- Help organisations to focus their limited existing resources on the areas of greatest need.
- Advocate for additional resources and services to assist people experiencing homelessness.
- Develop multi-agency solutions that respond to local challenges.
The data summary can be downloaded here: Albany Connection Event WHAT WE LEARNED