Homelessness Week: CatholicCare assisting hundreds in Parkes, Forbes

AWARENESS: This week marks Homelessness Week 2019 - August 4-10.

AWARENESS: This week marks Homelessness Week 2019 - August 4-10.

CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes has assisted more than 500 people so far this year through its Department of Communities and Justice-funded Accommodation and Housing Support Services and has provided 1242 nights of emergency accommodation.

So far this year 183 people have needed assistance in Parkes.

"Our team of seven services Parkes, Forbes, Cowra, Lachlan and Weddin Shires and our primary responsibility is to assist men, women and children who are homeless or at risk of homelessness as well as providing support for domestic violence victims," Specialist Homelessness Service Team Leader, Andrew Bament, said.

Mr Bament is highlighting these numbers to prove homelessness is not just a city problem.

It is estimated nearly 200,000 Australians are waiting for public and community housing.

Nationally homelessness has grown 30 per cent from 2006 to 2016.

Last year CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes provided 2396 nights of emergency accommodation.

"In 2018 our service assisted 667 people (205 in Parkes and 176 in Forbes)," Mr Bament said.

"Of these, 211 were seeking help to address their homelessness due to escaping domestic violence.

"An overwhelming majority of people are on benefits and are instantly priced out of the real estate market, so many have to resort to couch surfing, sleeping in cars, caravan parks or staying in already overcrowded homes."

LOCAL: CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes' team of seven services Parkes, Forbes, Cowra, Lachlan and Weddin Shires.

LOCAL: CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes' team of seven services Parkes, Forbes, Cowra, Lachlan and Weddin Shires.

CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes manages the Forbes Women's refuge (five rooms) as well as a transitional house in Condobolin which is exclusively for victims of domestic violence and can only accommodate one family at a time.

"We rely heavily on the valuable assistance from Link2Home (a state funded service providing emergency accommodation in some towns), HNSW (Housing NSW) and local service providers such as St Vincent de Paul, Can Assist, our real estate agents, health, Binaal Billa and many more to work collaboratively in addressing our local homelessness issues," Mr Bament said.

National Homelessness Week 2019 is focused on "Housing ends homelessness".

It has grown from winter vigils which were held to remember the many people who died on the streets, particularly as the August winter nights are bitterly cold.

The #HW2019 campaign reminds us all the main causes are family violence, poverty and unaffordable rents.

ALSO MAKING NEWS: