Did you know that:
- There are 105,000 homeless people on any given night in Australia?
- Almost half of these 105,000 are under the age of 25?
- 60% of people sleeping rough are aged between 21 – 40?
- Homeless men suffer from PTSD at 20 times the level of the general male population?
- There are 15,000 homeless people in Melbourne?
- There are over 46,000 homeless women in Australia
These statistics come from a deluge of reports that the government and not-for-profit organisations publish every year. These reports are then communicated by the media under the guise of ‘raising awareness’ of the national obscenity that homelessness has become. They are circulated, discussed and repeated ad-nauseum, unwittingly creating a second national obscenity more salacious than the first.
76% of homeless people surveyed said they were worse off after participating in SAAP programs
Australia’s obsession with homeless statistics is causing organisations to fall into a catch-22 situation. In order to work out how best to help the homeless huge amounts of time and money are being invested into gathering statistics that will be used to discuss how best they can help the homeless. By the time these statistics have been researched they are already out of date and do not provide a firm picture of the overall situation.
Within this country, a number of organisations designed to assist the homeless back into society are funded based on the number of services they provide rather than the quality of help they offer. Thus [insert here] plans are created to fit all homeless people, regardless of whether the person will insert comfortably into the plan – or what damage this ill-fitting assistance will cause.
Did you know:
- 76% of homeless people surveyed said they were worse off after participating in SAAP programs
- 99% of homeless people surveyed agreed that what they received from these programs was not what had been promoted to them by the organisations
The problem with Australia’s obsession with statistics is that reducing these statistics has become the priority. There is little or no regard toward addressing the needs of each individual homeless person.
They are human beings.
If more effort were made in discussing viable ways in which to assist the homeless rather than discussing the numbers, Australia would stand a chance of hitting it’s target to halve homelessness by 2020.
If more effort were made in questioning individual homeless people as to what help they require rather than presuming they all slot neatly into a one size fits all [insert here] plan, Australia would stand an even better chance of reaching it’s target.
Until people start remembering the only thing that matters when it comes to the homeless, I cannot see a way in which this target will ever be attained.
- Crimes Against the Homeless Are Increasing. Compassion? Not So Much. (homelessness.change.org)
- Homelessness hits 105,000 (news.theage.com.au)
- The Homeless Aren’t “One Size Fits All” (uspoverty.change.org)
- How the Homeless Services Sector Fails the Short-Term Homeless (homelessness.change.org)