Couch conversation to address the issues of homelessness in Midland

L-R: Jon Blurton (Strong Fathers Worker at Indigo Junction) and Sharon Gough (Program Manager at Indigo Junction). Photo: David Baylis
L-R: Jon Blurton (Strong Fathers Worker at Indigo Junction) and Sharon Gough (Program Manager at Indigo Junction). Photo: David Baylis

A COUCH conversation event will be held in Midland to discuss the issues of homelessness as part of a series of Homelessness Week events running from August 6 to 12.

Indigo Junction acting chief executive Adele Stewart said on any given night in Western Australia, more than 9500 people are recorded as homeless and, alarmingly, 25 per cent are under the age of 18.

Ms Stewart said growing unemployment, domestic violence, family breakdown and housing stress are major causes, proving that homelessness can happen to anyone at any time.

“The couch conversation will be held on August 9 at the Old Midland Courthouse and is an opportunity for local business leaders, counsellors and organisations from the sector to discuss the issues of homelessness and how services like its Karnany Resource Centre make a vital difference to people in the community,” she said.

Ms Stewart said the event would also introduce the Midland and Surrounds Alliance to End Homelessness, an extension of the WA Alliance to End Homelessness which has launched a 10-year action plan to end homelessness in WA.

“The Midland and Surrounds Alliance to End Homelessness makes a real difference for homelessness in the area and we are pleased to be a partner in these efforts,” she said.

The new Alliance is made up of CEOs, executives and community leaders from City of Swan, Indigo Junction, Midland Women’s Health Care Place, and Wungening Aboriginal Corporation.

The event is sponsored by Shelter WA whose theme for the Homelessness Week is ‘There is always something you can do’.

A community BBQ will be held on Friday, August 10 between 11am and 1pm at Juniper Gardens in Midland for people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness.

The Rapid Relief Team will be onsite cooking up a BBQ feast, Mopoke Coffee hand out hot drinks, volunteer hairdressers will offer free haircuts, and Indigo Junction staff will hand out dignity packs donated by Gift-A-Basket and the public.

Orange Sky Laundry will also be onsite to offer laundry services, whilst Foodbank is providing produce and grocery supplies.