Last night I slept in a sleeping bag, on a sheet of cardboard, in the centre of Canberra as one of over 1000 CEOs, political leaders and public servants who took part in Vinnie’s ‘CEO Sleepout’ to fundraise and raise awareness about Australia’s housing crisis.
I spent just eleven hours ‘sleeping rough’ in Canberra’s sub-zero temperatures – and got a glimpse of what it must be like for the thousands of Australians sleeping rough, or living in insecure situations every, single night. But I got to come home in the morning.
Our political leaders have a responsibility to ensure every Australian has somewhere safe and secure to live. That’s why the Greens developed our Homelessness Action Plan – to make sure every Australian sleeping rough will have somewhere to call home by 2020.
The 7000 rough sleepers are the tip of the iceberg. Homelessness can affect us all – whether you’re stranded between properties and having to stay with friends and family, or having to live in your car, a caravan park or short term accommodation. Job insecurity or a relationship breakdown can happen to anyone.
On any given night more than 105,000 Australians are homeless including 18,000 children under the age of twelve. Every winter, Australians sleeping rough die from exposure. While the reasons for homelessness may be complex, the solution is simple: match the funding for housing and essential support services to the level of need in our communities.
In 2008 the government committed to tackle homelessness. Four years on, and the number of homeless people in Australia has grown. In 2011-12, Australians were turned away from homelessness services 137,000 times because the resources just aren’t there to meet community needs.
While the old parties are busy point-scoring and playing political games, there are thousands of Australians sleeping on our streets with nowhere to go. Please help us to put homelessness back on the agenda.
P.S. More than 230,000 people used homelessness services in 2011/12, but in 61% of cases the request for crisis accommodation was unable to be met. Help us to do better than that for those in need.
You received this email because you’ve taken action for a cleaner, fairer future for Australia, by subscribing to our mailing list, communicating with a Greens representative or taking action online. This email was sent to Neville Gillmore at email@example.com. If these details are not correct, or you wish to modify your subscription you can manage your details at any time. You can like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Want to join the Greens? We don’t accept large corporate donations. Our work depends on the support of people like you.