• WA real estate agents raise $1 million to help fight homelessness


    A man wearing a 'Red Shield Appeal' fluro green overcoat stands infront of a Salvos mobile outreach program.

    REIWA is proud to announce it has now raised $1 million for The Salvation Army to help those experiencing homelessness in our community.

    REIWA has been in partnership with The Salvation Army since 2013 via its philanthropic Community REInvest program, which brings Western Australian real estate agents together to identify opportunities, mobilise resources and support the people of WA, particularly those experiencing homelessness.

    REIWA President Damian Collins said this was an incredible achievement and showed the care the WA real estate community had for those doing it tough on our streets.

    REIWA agents are in the community every single day and understand the role housing plays in the lives of all West Australians. To see our local real estate community come together to raise such a significant sum of money for people experiencing homelessness is something we are very proud of,” Mr Collins said.

    The Salvation Army Public Relations Secretary Warren Palmer said REIWA’s $1 million in donations had helped the Salvos to provide 196,000 sessions of care and 3,300 people with emergency accommodation and a pathway out of homelessness.

    “The support from REIWA has made a substantial and lasting difference for the thousands of people who have encountered homelessness due to a range of life complexities. This financial support has helped us provide intensive and personalised case management to our clients, giving each person a unique and tailored approach to regenerate their own positive pathway in life.

    “We all need a safe place to call home and the generosity of REIWA and its agents has helped this become a reality for many people who have felt trapped by hopelessness,” Mr Palmer said.

    A Salvos representative approaches a woman experiencing homelessness on the street.

    Homelessness Week

    The Salvation Army launched its annual Homelessness Week on Sunday 1 August, which aims to raise awareness around people experiencing homelessness, the issues they face, and the action needed to achieve long-lasting housing solutions.

    According to new research by the Salvos, the average life expectancy of a person experiencing homelessness in Australia is now just 50 years of age.

    The study found that being homeless multiplies the risk of early death between three and seven times, bringing the national average to just 50 years of age. It also found that a third of these deaths were preventable, the result of illnesses that could have been treated with appropriate medical help. 

    Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows more than 9,000 people in WA are experiencing homelessness, with 1,000 of those living on the streets. 

    Mr Collins said that while WA was one of the most affordable places in the country to buy and rent in, for some people in the community, access to safe and affordable housing was still out of reach. 

    “The issue of homelessness is a community problem and one that we must all play a part in eradicating. Whilst the private rental sector plays a critical role in providing housing, it can’t shoulder this responsibility alone.  

    “There needs to be a national plan for housing on a bi-partisan basis that is supported by all levels of government. Increasing housing supply will improve overall affordability. Governments can contribute by quickening approval times, reducing the cost of the development application process, increasing density in appropriate locations, accelerating land release programs and establishing a government led mechanism for reliable data on housing demand and supply.

    “On an individual level, I would encourage anyone who is in a position to help to dig deep and get behind the Salvos this Homelessness Week and beyond. Every donation, no matter how small, is important. It all adds up to make a big difference to those who are most vulnerable in our community," Mr Collins said. 

    More information

    For more information about Community REInvest and the REIWA agents that support it directly, visit the In the Community page.