• Tristan Angelini

The Unique Australian Solution to Homelessness




We have been talking about homelessness and its severity in so many affluent countries, including Australia. The problem has been so intense that different solutions are being created no matter how odd it looks at first. In fact, a new plan to put overnight beds in car parks as well as shelters to reduce the number of rough sleepers has actually begun.


A two-week trial was conducted in BCD by the charity Beddown to place overnight beds as well as shelter in car parks. This was in relation to the ongoing endeavors from different charities and organizations to get rough sleepers out of the streets and into a more comfortable place to spend the night. Beddown teamed up with Secure Parking to invite rough sleepers to try out inflatable mattresses that were placed in the car parks. The trial is also slated to run in major cities such as Melbourne and Sydney.


Fortunately, this charitable endeavor received positive feedback among the media. However, the real question still lies: Will this really help in ending the homelessness problem in Australia?


Sure, this charitable effort will be a great help to rough sleepers in Australia, but it doesn’t change the fact the these are still all temporary. Pop-up beds like this are very helpful, but there are better ways to help rough sleepers as a community.


It may sound unrealistic, but it is actually doable. A study conducted revealed that about 80 to 90% of the rough sleepers that were able to get out of the situation through housing programs were able to sustain their housing for at least a year. Additionally, the study also revealed that three things are critical when it comes to this issue to make the whole thing work.


STREET OUTREACH

There should be commitment and dedication to get people off the streets. Outreach programs are necessary for this to happen because it’s the only way to identify areas where rough sleepers are. Some of those included in the outreach are clinicians that help in terms of health-related needs.


SOCIAL SUPPORT & HEALTH CARE

Rough sleepers that are housed need support, both socially and physically. Any health problems caused by the situation they were in must be addressed properly – and efficiently. A lot of rough sleepers also go through bouts of distress and anxiety, which is why there is a need for flexible social support that could help them in their transition.


AFFORDABLE HOUSING

It’s pretty much a known fact that one of the reasons homelessness became an even bigger problem because of the lack of affordable housing in Australia. So many people are struggling to find a place to stay because it’s just way too expensive to afford. Even if there are efforts to get people off the streets if they have no access to housing they can afford it’s not going to make much of a difference.


Australia has been recognized for its strong economic activity for the past 28 years, which the government has been so happy about. But underneath all the good news lies a problem that’s been getting worse every year. As a community, it is now part of our duty to end homelessness. We, at Xotel will work hand in hand with different charities to make a positive change.


For more details, visit our website or our Facebook page.

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