harder in Winter
Homelessness hits harder in Winter
Sam Drury, CEO, St Bart's
The homelessness crisis in Perth is certainly not something that is seasonal, but it is at this time of year that the impacts of homelessness are more fiercely felt by those in our community who are experiencing it.
The nights are longer and the elements are harsher. Shelter from the rain, wind and plunging temperatures becomes a matter of survival. The perils of the colder months exacerbate an already dire situation for our community’s most vulnerable. To put it simply, homelessness hits harder in Winter.
At St Bart’s, the demand for our services remains high throughout Winter and, on any given day and night, we support more than 500 people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Perth.
Our transitional and supported housing services that accommodate 65 single men and women in East Perth have waitlists hovering around six months and are consistently at capacity, as is our Family Service that has a waitlist of between six and 12 months. Compounding these sobering facts and figures is that we are now also being contacted by people who need help who have never experienced homelessness in the past, but rather are under extreme housing stress and at risk of homelessness due to Perth’s rising rents and home prices and shortage of social and affordable housing.
More than 9,000 people experience homelessness every night in WA. People of all ages, genders and backgrounds can, and do, experience homelessness. While the causes of homelessness differ from person to person, what links each of these more than 9,000 people is that their homelessness is not deserved, it is not inevitable and it is not their fault.
Homelessness is a whole-of-community issue that requires a whole-of-community response.
This is why, through our 2022 Winter Appeal, we are asking the people of Perth and wider Western Australia to assist us in our mission to stand by the side of our community’s most vulnerable by making a tax deductible donation to St Bart’s by calling 9323 5100 or by visiting stbarts.org.au.
Together, we can achieve great things and help some of Perth’s most disadvantaged people to get back on their feet and re-establish their place in the community.