The City of Fremantle is marking Homelessness Week (1-7 August 2021) by encouraging members of the community about the ‘small things we can do to make a big difference’.
Held annually across Australia, Homelessness Week puts the spotlight on homelessness and explores solutions that can be adopted, in both the short-term and long-term, to end this complex and challenging problem.
According to Shelter WA, it is estimated that that 9,000 people experience homelessness on any given night in Western Australia, with over 55s the fastest growing group facing homelessness.
Locally, in June 2021 the By Name List recorded 199 people experiencing homelessness in Fremantle, of those 59 were chronic homeless and 140 were rough sleeping.
Fremantle Deputy Mayor Andrew Sullivan said while the state government was primarily responsible for appropriate crisis, social and affordable housing options, as a local government the City worked in strong collaboration with local service providers to connect people experiencing homelessness with the appropriate information, resources and specialist support services.
“For example, the City has recently created the Fremantle Community Support Services Map, which improves access to outreach services and resources for people experiencing extreme vulnerability,” Cr Sullivan said.
“In partnership with St Patrick’s Community Support Centre, the City also runs the award-winning Library Connect program. At the core of the program is a St Pat’s support worker based at Fremantle Library who engages and connects with people in a safe and welcoming environment, providing advice, referrals and support on the ground where it is needed.
“The project so far has supported 424 people across a range of challenging issues including homelessness, domestic violence and financial stress.
“In addition, the City has funded the Freo Street Doctor for the past two years, which delivers essential mobile health care with a general practitioner, volunteer nurse and outreach worker present.”
Fremantle is well known for its caring and compassionate community and has a long-standing history of helping people in need. During Homelessness Week there are several ‘small things we can do to make a big difference’.
Residents can support the City’s ongoing Donate Without Doubt campaign, which began in 2016, and place their spare change into one of the ‘lifesaver’ collection boxes located throughout the Fremantle city centre.
All Donate Without Doubt donations are matched dollar-for-dollar by the City and given to St Patrick’s Community Support Centre, which goes towards emergency relief, housing, meals, education and health services.