Homeless ‘prefer the lifestyle’ says Stirling community development director

Homeless ‘prefer the lifestyle’ says Stirling community development director

MANY homeless people “prefer the lifestyle” according to City of Stirling Community Development director Trevor Holland.

Mr Holland said the City did not provide any direct homeless services but referred individuals to other organisations such as Anglicare, the Red Cross, Ruah Homeless Services, Shelter WA and the Salvation Army.

“As there is a real shortage of homes and an increasing demand for services, the services can’t force someone to participate,” he said.

“Many homeless people prefer the lifestyle or are in transition to another place to live, which obviously presents a problem.”

Mr Holland said City of Stirling patrol officers had not noticed any increase in the number of homeless people in the City.

“We do not consider this a significant issue for the City and have only been directly involved with a handful of situations over the past 10 years,” he said.

“We consider people who are homeless arising from family violence to be a far more significant problem that we are able to respond to with both the Safe at Home and Women’s Centre programs and services.”

Mr Holland said the City had received calls about homeless people in an Osborne Park reserve.

“Security patrols are regularly called to deal with these individuals and in addition we have regular patrols due to the regularity of their attendance,” he said.

“In a security context patrol officers will attend to check on the individuals, talk to them about their situation and depending on their condition and behaviour will either refer them to services to other agencies who can assist, attempt to move them on or refer the matter to police if it is one of an antisocial behaviour in nature.

Mr Holland said two shelter services were available in the City of Stirling area – Ruah Homeless Services and the City of Stirling Women’s Centre.