THE Salvation Army has extended its public information phone line to include the Town of Victoria Park to tackle the issue of homelessness in the area.
The City Homeless Response phone line provides information to businesses, local governments and the public about how they can assist individuals who are homeless.
The public is encouraged to call 0429 511 833 if they see a homeless person needing assistance.
Gemma Hilditch, coordinator of City Homeless Response – which is run by The Salvation Army – said the idea of extending the phone line into the Town of Victoria Park after it was launched in the City of Perth and City of Vincent last year was because of its proximity to the city.
“We know there is a demand for a service like this in Victoria Park as we have had calls in the past from the area from people wanting information about how to assist someone they have seen experiencing homelessness,” she said.
“The Salvation Army is working with a number of organisations, both government and not for profit, to deliver the best response to callers that we can.
“City Homeless Response is hoping to empower the community in Victoria Park to assist those who are experiencing homelessness, by giving the community access to the information and services they need that will be best suited to meet the various needs of those without a place to call home.
“We expect that through giving people the right information those experiencing homelessness will have better access to food, shelter, healthcare and other services.”
Town of Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan said the phone line was a great initiative.
“The Town of Victoria Park is eager to support any programs that will assist the homeless population of Perth.
“We are concerned about the increase of people living rough in the area.
This program provides a way to compassionately deal with the issues facing homeless people, giving them access to people and resources that can assist them.
“In my opinion, this can only provide a positive outcome.”
Mr Vaughan said determining accurate figures of homeless people was very difficult given the transient nature of homelessness.
“The Town of Victoria Park participated in the Rough Sleepers count, but the results are not indicative of primary or secondary homelessness,” he said.