Emma Garton, Queensland Council of Social Service

The theme for 2017’s Homelessness Week is ‘Action and Innovation’ which will highlight the work of specialist services in response to the homelessness crisis. 

Homelessness Australia coordinate Homelessness Week by facilitating events around Australia to create awareness of homelessness and the issues people face.

Research by the organisation on people’s perceptions of homelessness were shown to be very different from the reality when asked why people fall into homelessness and who is more susceptible to experiencing it.

The research found that the risk to women and children was grossly underestimated by the survey respondents, while Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were overrepresented by the respondents when asked which group were more likely to be homeless in Australia.

This week of awareness raising hopes to correct these misconceptions and bring together service providers to highlight the work they do for this vulnerable group of people.

This year's Homelessness Week will coincide with the announcement of recent changes by Federal Government to the provision of funding to address homelessness and the affordable housing crisis.

Events ranging from professional and sector development conferences, forums, homeless connects, individual fundraisers and community awareness raising activities will be running throughout the week across Queensland.

Compassionate Housing Affordability Solutions (CHASM) will be fundraising outside the Maleny IGA to raise money for an Emergency Accommodation Fund for the Maleny Neighbourhood Centre on 7 August 2017, from 11am. 

Free hot breakfasts will be provided by We Care 2 at the Hervey Bay Esplanade all week and the Angels Pop-Up Food Drive will be appearing at various locations throughout Queensland during the week.

There is also an overnight sleepout at Blue Water Quay in Mackay on 9 August 2017. This event hopes to promote awareness of the hardships of homelessness in Mackay by facilitating the experience of living rough for the night. They will be taking donations to go towards the establishment of a Drop-In Centre for local people experiencing homelessness.

Many Homelessness Week events are volunteer run - so get involved with your local event. To find out more about Homelessness Week and events happening in your area go to the Homelessness Australia website.

This year Homelessness Week events will be held from 7 August to 11 August 2017.

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