Homeless forum to address problem in Rockingham and Kwinana

Homelessness forum organisers Jonathan Shapiera and Owen Farmer at the Salvation Army headquarters in Cooloongup.
Homelessness forum organisers Jonathan Shapiera and Owen Farmer at the Salvation Army headquarters in Cooloongup.

WHAT if you found yourself homeless and needing help?

That is the theme of a forum being held in Rockingham next Saturday to provide a greater awareness to the public about the homeless issue in the Rockingham and Kwinana regions.

Organised by Jonathan Shapiera and Owen Farmer, the forum will include presentations by homeless people and representatives from a variety of organisations including the Salvation Army, the Samaritans, Homestead for Youth, City of Kwinana and UWA’s Centre for Social Impact.

Mr Shapiera said homelessness was an issue that needed to be addressed by the whole community.

“That means talking directly to the general public about the whole problem with homelessness and really what’s going on,” he said.

“We are asking people ‘what if there is a possibility that one day you could be homeless?’

“We want them to come along and learn about it.”

Mr Shapiera said most people who end up on the streets for the first couple of days or weeks had no idea what to do or who to turn for help.

“If it ever happens to them, and God forbid I hope it doesn’t, then they know what to do and where to go,” he said.

“And if they want to get involved in a volunteer capacity they will be able to talk to people about that as well.”

Mr Farmer said the community had a duty of care to look after homeless people that were doing it tough on the streets.

“Our duty of care is to try and put in place a platform for these people so that they can come into any shelter to feel comfortable and not rejected from society,” he said.

The free forum will be held from 9.30am-2.30pm at the Salvation Army building on the corner of Read Street and Willmott Drive, on Saturday November 5.

Further details, call the centre on 9527 3460.