Homelessness Week is a national event held each year (2-8 August 2021) that aims to raise awareness of people experiencing homelessness, the issues they face and the actions needed to achieve enduring solutions.
This year’s theme is Housing Ends Homelessness. A variety of events will be held around the state, including opportunities to hear the stories of people with lived experience of homelessness, celebrate the people and organisations who work hard to deliver services, learn more about homelessness in the community and support those who need assistance.
Homelessness affects people of all ages, and the need to reduce and eliminate homelessness in Tasmania has never been more urgent. For many people homelessness is temporary, and they can quickly recover and stabilise their situation. For others, finding and maintaining a safe affordable home over the long term is extremely difficult.
In March 2021, there were 338 Tasmanians without any housing at all, but less than one in ten are sleeping rough. This is because most homelessness is hidden from view – people are couch surfing; in substandard accommodation; in emergency shelters; or in overcrowded dwellings, cars and tents.
More than 120,000 Tasmanians live below the poverty line. It is difficult for Tasmanians earning low and moderate incomes to find affordable housing, and there is a chronic shortage of affordable rental properties.
On any one day in Tasmania 36 requests for help go unassisted, one-third of requests involving family or domestic violence. Children who experience homelessness have an increased risk of becoming homeless themselves in later life. More women than men requested assistance from homelessness services. Assistance requires help with finding affordable, appropriate, safe, and secure housing for all Tasmanians: emergency and long-term housing; help with issues like domestic violence, substance use, gambling, or mental illness; counselling and legal advice; life skills; education and employment; and help with stabilising and maintaining existing tenancies. Housing and homelessness support services can be accessed through Tasmania’s Housing Connect service – Call 1800 800 588.