INDIGO Junction in Midland has been officially launched.
The new service, which provides emergency housing assistance to those in need, also caters for indigenous people in the area who need housing.
Chief executive Don Tunnicliffe said the rebranding of the old Swan Emergency Accommodation was vital to fulfil the service delivery and philosophy of the organisation and what it offered those in need of housing.
The old SEA had been around since 1979 but Mr Tunnicliffe said the organisation had seen a lot of changes and a lot of attitudinal change to homelessness.
After a welcome to country delivered by Aboriginal Elder Di Ryder, the audience heard that through divorce, breakdown and domestic violence, more and more people were seeking assistance with homelessness.
“We live in a less than perfect society and this means homelessness will increase as society grows,” Indigo Junction board vice-chairman Ken Duffy said.
“There are no accurate statistics to tell us who is homeless and how the numbers fall because the Census can’t assist with people who might have literacy or numeracy problems.”
Child Protection and Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell said she was delighted to be in Midland and wished there were more motivated volunteers to assist around WA.
“It’s amazing what a group of volunteers can achieve,” she said.
Mrs Mitchell encouraged the group to be adaptive and flexible in their approach to homelessness.
Father of three Darren Tyson said he had been helped by Indigo Junction four years ago.
“We were homeless and expecting our first child and sleeping in a few different places and we even slept in a shed one night and I only went to school to Year 8,” he said.
Now Darren is a youth worker in the Balga area and has completed courses which have advanced his education.
“I have my licence now and I drive home to the kids; we have a home and I am a very family-orientated person,” he said.
“I love working with Aboriginal youth and helping them to find their way.”
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians make up a quarter of all homeless people in Australia.