Opening doors on a mission to halve homelessness


Open Doors Program senior case manager Ellen Wilson, Robert Crook and Mission Australia chief executive Catherine Yeomans.
Opening doors on a mission to halve homelessness
Open Doors Program senior case manager Ellen Wilson, Robert Crook and Mission Australia chief executive Catherine Yeomans.

ROBERT Crook, from Dianella, has come a long way since he went through a “rough patch.”

The 15-year-old was at risk of homelessness and admitted to the Bentley adolescent unit for help before being referred to the Mission Australia for further assistance from the Open Doors Program.

Six months later, he admits he would not have the same quality of life without the support.

“I am now attending school more regularly; I worked through a number of issues with school, at home and with myself,” he said. “I’ve learnt a lot of strategies and found a lot of support in the work I’ve managed to do and the counselling.”

Kelly Clark (24) was homeless for more than a year before she found youth housing service Foyer Oxford in Leederville.

“I’ve been here since last August and I’ve recovered a lot in the last 10 months,” she said.

It was experiences like these that prompted six leading homelessness service providers to call on all political parties ahead of the Federal Election to commit to halving the homeless population by 2025.

Anglicare Australia, Mission Australia, Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society, UnitingCare Australia and Wesley Mission submitted a joint letter to all party leaders seeking the commitment, saying in their letter more than 100,000 Australians were homeless on any given night and more than 200,000 people seeking help from homelessness services.

Mission Australia chief executive Catherine Yeomans said the best way to halve homelessness was through early intervention programs.