MORE than 500 homeless people could be sleeping on the streets and in the parks of the inner city and inner suburbs of Brisbane each night.
This is indicated in a report by Homeless Taskforce 99, which was launched by Queensland Families, Youth and Community Care Minister, Anna Bligh at Parliament House on March 16. The taskforce is a multi-charity grouping comprising representatives of Brisbane’s major charities. Its report gives an indication of how many homeless people there are in Brisbane, with a breakdown by age and gender.
While the short-term goal of the taskforce was to consider the extent of the homeless problem, its long-term objective was to discover the processes and procedures which could be implemented to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.
Taskforce volunteers had found a total of 336 people sleeping out or staying in shelters during a survey of an area within a 3 km radius of City Hall on the night of November 29 last year. The taskforce considered the number to be minimal, however, because it did not include people who did not wish to be counted. It also did not include people sleeping in squats such as abandoned buildings or who were not approached by volunteers in areas considered to be unsafe.
The taskforce recommends that emergency accommodation be reviewed and targets identified for an affordable housing strategy.