Homelessness in our Communities
by Mark Glasson | CEO Anglicare WA
At Anglicare WA, we believe everyone deserves a safe place to call home. We know access to safe, affordable accommodation is essential for people – and indeed, communities – to be healthy.
Yet in Western Australia, despite our abundant resources, on any given night more than 9,000 Western Australians are without safe and secure housing. Frighteningly, more than 3,000 are children and young people. Some are sleeping rough, many more are in unsafe or untenable situations.
The stark reality for many in our community is the risk of homelessness is never far away. Many families coming to Anglicare WA for help are living on the precipice, where just one unexpected bill, reduced work hours or a period of illness or injury will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It is concerning that despite our State’s great wealth, more and more people are living under this ongoing burden.
Our mission at Anglicare WA is to reach out in ways which respect the dignity and choices of people who find themselves homeless, whilst offering an opportunity for them to have a stable home. This year the team at Anglicare WA will work with more than 2,500 people, young and old, who need assistance with their housing or homelessness.
We know no matter how skilled we become at Anglicare WA, we are only one part of the solution to homelessness. In recognition of this, last year we launched a new resource to assist parishes to be part of the solution and connect with people experiencing homelessness.
Connecting with people experiencing homelessness: A guide for parishes includes an overview of the dimensions of homelessness, as well as a reflection on how our practical response to homelessness can be informed by our faith. It has been created to provide Anglican parishes with ideas and advice on how to safely and effectively respond to people experiencing homelessness and to enable the best possible Christian response to homelessness when it reaches the door of the local parish.
The guide provides ideas and advice on how to offer hospitality to people experiencing homelessness with a focus on support, and referral to opportunities that will begin the transition from homelessness to having a home.
If you would like a copy of the guide please contact Fr Mark McCracken, our Mission Leader and Chaplain at firstname.lastname@example.org.