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Homelessness campaigners urge the government to step up


6000 origami houses coloured the steps of Victorian Parliament House last week in the lead-up to National Homelessness Week.


By KIRRALEE NICOLLE 

The steps of Victoria’s Parliament House were a sea of brightly coloured origami houses on Wednesday 2 August, with representatives from across the homelessness services sector and members of the Victorian Homelessness Network gathering to campaign for increased social housing.

The 6000 origami houses represented a request for the State and Federal Governments to commit to building at least 6000 new social houses each year for the next 10 years. Currently, there are 57,000 Victorian households on the social housing waitlist. The event was an initiative by Victorian Homelessness Network in collaboration with other housing and homelessness services groups.


Claire Edmanson (left) with Upton Rd Client Services Coordinator Brittany Williams.

Staff from across Salvation Army Mission Delivery services attended the campaign. Among them, Upton Road Youth Services Program Manager Claire Edmanson had been part of the working group organising the event. She said the event was timely as it fell the same day Federal Labor reintroduced the Housing Australia Future Fund Bill to Parliament.

“I think it was an amazing launch into Homelessness Week to have [Council for Homeless Persons] there [to] speak and talk about the relevance of this issue and to show the need that there is to address this gap in social housing across Victoria,” she said. “It was also just a really nice event in terms of unity between homelessness services across Victoria. Every region in Victoria was really well represented.”

Claire said policy perspectives in the Greens, Labor and the Liberal party differed in terms of priority areas to address the current housing crisis, and the visual aspect of the event as well as the discussions it raised on social media, were an important way to keep the issue at the forefront of politicians’ minds. She said about 30 members of State Parliament attended the event.

To find out more about Victorian Homelessness Network, visit https://www.vhn.org.au/


Visit the MySalvos Homelessness Week toolkit at https://my.salvos.org.au/homelessness-week-toolkit-2023/

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