HOMELESSNESS in Perth was put firmly on the agenda this week with the launch of a new report on the ongoing crisis.
On Wednesday, the Perth Registry Week 2016 Report on Homelessness was released at the Ruah Centre in Northbridge.
Ruah Community Services helps more than 500 people every week who visit the centre for assistance.
The new report reveals disturbing statistics regarding some of Perth’s most vulnerable individuals and families.
In February, 307 homeless individuals were surveyed and, for the first time, seven homeless families were also surveyed.
The report tells their stories and provides a firm foundation for future service planning.
The youngest child recorded by the study was less than one month old.
Of the 307 individuals, 219 were identified as vulnerable, meaning that in addition to being chronically homeless, they also had a combination of medical conditions and mental health issues that put them at risk of death if they were not housed.
Ruah chief executive Debra Zanella said the situation needed to be urgently addressed.
“A report of this nature demands a strong response from government and the community,” she said. “It demands governments and businesses partner with the community sector to end homelessness.”
She said action must go “beyond guaranteeing funding to address the immediate needs”.
“We must also seek to address the underlying causes of homelessness and build coalitions to support families and individuals at risk of becoming homeless,” she said.
“With a State and Federal election approaching, I am looking forward to engaging with the political parties on their proposed approach to responding to the crisis of homelessness.”