HOMELESS people in Australia?!
Indeed there are – many more than those who are visible on our streets.
As the St Vincent de Paul Society in Queensland and NSW has shown in substantial studies, there are thousands of Australians who are effectively homeless.
They are those who have inadequate housing – often grossly inadequate – those who live on the move, from cheap rooming house to cheap caravan park, and those who are actually on the streets.
They are all vulnerable to ill health and exploitation. They are all marginalised, unable to take part in the community because they lack the stability of adequate housing.
Their condition is summed up by a homeless man’s from-the-heart comment to Vincentians in Sydney: “We have no home. We belong no where. We’re nothing.”
There are indications of political buck passing, with a lack of will by federal and state governments to do together what is necessary – ensure there is adequate public and community housing.
And as the president of the society in Queensland Tim O’Connor says, a country as affluent as Australia should be able to do something about this.