• Homelessness Week shines light on 9,000 West Aussies doing it tough each night

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    Person experiencing homelessness lies on street during winter. Two kids kneel nearby and a sign is laying against the person that reads 'Homeless please help'.

    REIWA is pleased to welcome the launch of The Salvation Army’s annual 2022 Homelessness Week campaign, which kicked off on 1 August 2022. 

    The Salvation Army estimates that 9,000 West Australians are experiencing homelessness and are without shelter or a place to call home on any given night. 

    REIWA Chief Executive Officer Cath Hart said the Salvos’ 2022 campaign theme — ‘There’s more than one key to a safe home’ — highlights the importance of everyone contributing to support people at risk of, or experiencing homelessness. 

    “REIWA and its members are pleased to do our bit through our Community REInvest program, a nearly decade-long philanthropic partnership with The Salvation Army which has raised more than $1 million to support the fight against homelessness,” Ms Hart said.  

    “Our Tenancy Training program also provides practical, hands-on support for people transitioning out of homelessness. In the past six months, more than 50 vulnerable West Australians have graduated from the REIWA-run Tenancy Training programs as well as 13 case workers, and we intend to expand it further over the coming 12 months. 

    “Homelessness can happen to anyone, at any time and it is even more prevalent now that WA is having a severe rental shortage, which is why we’re encouraging West Australians to dig deep and support the important work The Salvation Army does in our community, as WA’s largest crisis accommodation provider,” Ms Hart said. 

    The Salvation Army State Manager of Homelessness Major Ken Smith said the 2022 Homelessness Week is about recognising the human toll of homelessness. 

    “Homelessness Week is certainly about recognising the issue and the tough road out of homelessness, yet simultaneously we also need to acknowledge a growing predicament that equally demands our attention. We need a holistic response in building a more sustainable and secure community. 

    “There are many living a fragile existence where wafer thin budgets eroded by multiple factors together with supply issues are creating a frightening prospect of falling into homelessness. 

    “We want to encourage those experiencing financial hardship to come forward and engage with our services such as Emergency Relief or Financial Counselling though our Moneycare program,” Major Smith said. 

    More information

    If you are experiencing hardship and need help, please contact The Salvation Army on 13 72 58 or visit salvationarmy.org.au to find your local service. 

    For more information about REIWA's work with the Salvos, visit the Community REInvest page