Real stories to guide State Government’s 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness

Real stories to guide State Government’s 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness

Western Australians who have experienced homelessness are being encouraged to share their stories as part of the development of the State Government’s 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness.

Announcing the strategy as part of Homelessness Week 2018, Community Services Minister Simone McGurk said the strategy needed to consider first-hand accounts of how individuals coped with homelessness and how organisations responded to their needs.

The strategy is being designed through a partnership between government, peak bodies and the community sector through the Supporting Communities Forum Working Group on Homelessness.

Consultation workshops with individuals and organisations in Perth and regional WA, including with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, will be held next month and in October 2018.

The strategy will emphasise how policy can be set and services provided differently and better. It will also examine homelessness in a broader context alongside other areas of government, including health, mental health, education and justice.

This year’s theme for Homelessness Week in Western Australia is ‘There’s always something you can do’.

The Department of Communities provides funding of about $85 million each year for specialist homelessness services to assist people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.

The Minister responsible for tackling homelessness, Simone McGurk, said, “most of us are lucky to have a place we call home where there is security and safety, a roof over our head and people who care for us.”

“However, on any given night about 9,000 Western Australians are homeless and could be sleeping rough on the streets, couch-surfing or staying in a refuge.”

“We know that family and domestic violence is the main driver of homelessness and that nearly two-thirds of people receiving assistance are women.”

“This 10-Year Strategy is a significant partnership between the State Government and the community services sector. There’s never been a long-term strategy developed like this before.”

“This will be the first homelessness plan of its kind in WA – and will articulate a whole of Government effort that identifies key areas of work and creates linkages across the service delivery system.”

“What is also unique about the approach is that we’re developing this together – it will be co-authored by the community sector, cross-government and people who have actually experienced homelessness. To effectively address homelessness takes not only appropriate accommodation but joined up services – Government can’t do this alone.”

“The new strategy will aim to strengthen the services system by improving communication, collaboration, co-ordination, and most importantly, it will clearly identify evidenced based approaches that best support those experiencing homelessness.”

More information about the 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness and how you can get involved can be found at