Red Cross believes that everyone deserves a home that is safe, secure and affordable. Tonight, unfortunately, one in every 200 people living in Australia will not have a home that meets these standards. During Homeless Persons Week from 4 to 10 August, Red Cross is sharing the stories of people affected by homelessness and showing that with the right support homelessness can be ended for people.
Everyone deserves a home
Homelessness disrupts people's lives. Connection to family, friends, workmates and community is often lost or strained and people who experience homelessness can be shut out from mainstream social and economic life. This makes it difficult to hold a job, study or participate in social and recreational activities.
People who are homeless tend to have poorer health, a significantly increased rate of substance abuse and higher rates of mental illness than the general population. They are also more likely to experience violence and be imprisoned.
The children of families who are homeless are particularly vulnerable. They are more likely than other children to experience developmental issues and disrupted schooling. This can lead to disadvantage and homelessness being repeated in the next generation.
Red Cross is there for people in crisis big and small and our everyday work in the homelessness space touches on four broad areas:
Last year, Red Cross supported more than 4000 people who were either homeless or at risk of homelessness. The support Red Cross provides not only helps people to find housing but prevents people from becoming homeless in the first place. The programs also help people to build their life skills and community connections. The goal is to address the underlying issues that contributed to their housing problems. You can learn more about how people's lives are affected by homelessness and how Red Cross supports them in our Homelessness report and brochure.