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Combating homelessness

Patricia Goldfi nch, Bernadette Morham, Kienwyn Daniels and Mar Hagger from Mareeba Community Housing during Homelessness Awareness Week last week.

MEMBERS of Mareeba Community Housing got together last week during Homelessness Awareness Week in an attempt to educate local residents about the reasons for homelessness.

Throughout the Tablelands homelessness is a rising issue that needs to be addressed and the ladies at Mareeba Community Housing are doing just that.

By educating people on the reasons for homelessness they believe that people will be more understanding and willing to help.

Manager of Mareeba Community Housing Patricia Goldfinch described some of the leading reasons surrounding homelessness.

“Within the Tablelands community our main problem is overcrowding,” she said.

“It’s not uncommon that you will have a two bedroom household where you will have 12-13 people living in it.

“The lack of affordable housing is what drives a lot of the homelessness.”

Mrs Goldfinch stressed the issue of affordable rent, services and job wages.

“One of the other issues is income,” she said.

“The idea that people choose to be homeless and on the dole is completely incorrect.

“There may be less than two per cent of people who would choose to be homeless, but I’ve rarely come across anyone who has said they want to be homeless.”

The event was made to not only raise awareness for homelessness, but to also educate in hopes of residents of the tablelands being more patient and understanding.

“Members of the community need to acknowledge and show respect to those affected and treat them with some dignity,” she said.

“You’re seeing a person but you don’t understand the underlying issues.

“A few kind words or a recommendation of services like community housing, that’s what community is about.”

Mrs Goldfinch thanked Sibi Girgenti for allowing them to use the available space to promote Homelessness Awareness Week.

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