Homelessness Week: Mission Australia urges ‘hidden homeless’ to fill out census

Homelessness Week: Mission Australia urges ‘hidden homeless’ to fill out census

MISSION Australia is encouraging Perth’s ‘hidden homeless’ to participate in the August 9 census so the severity of the problem is accurately represented.

The ‘hidden homeless’ includes those who might be couch surfing or living in someone’s spare room or garage.

It can also mean people who are staying in homeless, crisis or transitional accommodation, boarding houses or living in a severely crowded dwelling.

The 2011 Census revealed 909 people in Perth were without a safe, permanent place to call home.

Mission Australia WA State Director Amanda Hunt said it was almost certain that number would rise in 2016.

“Anecdotally we are seeing more homeless people engaged with our services, particularly young people through the Youthbeat outreach program,” Ms Hunt said.

“Moreover, we don’t believe census data reflects the true extent of homelessness due to the transient nature of homeless people.

“We need more accurate data to demonstrate the necessity for adequate funding for homelessness services in WA and throughout Australia.”