City of Perth Lord Mayor hits back at ‘Royal Show for the homeless’ comment about Homeless Connect Perth event

City of Perth Lord Mayor hits back at ‘Royal Show for the homeless’ comment about Homeless Connect Perth event

CITY of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi has hit back at a comment describing the annual Homeless Connect Perth event as “the Royal Show for those experiencing homelessness”.

The event, which was last held in November and offers about 100 services from accommodation to health care for people in need, is run by the City and Volunteering WA.

The comment was made when feedback was sought from the 2016 event, which attracted 4000 people and included in a Homeless Sector Review commissioned by the City.

Ms Scaffidi at this week’s finance and administrationcommittee did not approve of the comment.

“I think (the comment) was harsh,” she said.

“The event can evolve and I support its evolution.”

The review suggests re-assessing the focus of the event, which attracted people who were not homeless.

Feedback from providers was that they felt offering hairdressers, massage and yoga became a distraction making it difficult for people to prioritise their needs.

Councillor Reece Harley said better co-ordination between service providers was required with many of them competing and providing the same service at the same time.

Staff mentioned Ms Scaffidi got the idea for the event after she saw a similar one while in San Francisco and passed it on to Volunteering WA.

The City has spent more than $613,000 on the event since it was launched in 2008.

In 2016 the City entered a three-year partnership with Volunteering WA, and committed $259,500 towards the event until 2018.

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