Housing support key: Scaffidi

Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi wants State Government help.
Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi wants State Government help.

Ms Scaffidi spoke at the launch of Homelessness Prevention Week yesterday and used the event to emphasise the need for housing support.

She said the divide between people living comfortably and those sleeping rough was �highly apparent�.

�Clearly with the numbers growing, what is being done isn�t working to resolve homelessness so we need to have a serious discussion as a whole community to work out if we can be working smarter,� Ms Scaffidi said.

�From the City of Perth�s perspective, people living on the streets are in our patch. However, it is the role of the State Government to provide housing for them.�

ShelterWA executive officer Chantal Roberts said the wider community had an obligation to act on homelessness prevention.

�It�s a whole community issue and we can all step up and do something to influence change,� Ms Roberts said.

�We don�t have to accept homelessness.

�People who have investment properties can make sure they maintain rental at affordable prices instead of raising it because the market is going up, because $10 or $20 a week can make a huge difference.�

MLA and Secretary to the Minister for Mental Health, Disability and Child Protection Andrea Mitchell said homelessness was a complex issue with many factors.

Josh, a social worker, shared his experiences with homelessness at the launch.

�When you fight to be alive it�s always difficult but if you have a support network it becomes easier,� he said.

Josh said support services such as ShelterWA, Uniting Care West and Ruah Community Services supported him through a difficult time.