Australian Alliance to End Homelessness launch lobbying campaign

Australian Alliance to End Homelessness launch lobbying campaign
Australian Alliance to End Homelessness launch lobbying campaign

The Australian Alliance to End Homelessness (AAEH) has launched a sector wide lobbying campaign, Homes Beyond Covid, to raise awareness of the urgent needs of people who have now been temporarily sheltered in response to COVID-19. 

Without urgent action thousands of people who were sleeping rough and have now been temporarily sheltered are at risk of being forced back into homelessness because of a lack of options. 

Throughout winter, the AAEH is calling for collaborative action through the campaign to find permanent housing and support for everyone sleeping rough or in motels placements due to COVID-19.

AAEH chief executive officer David Pearson says that this campaign shows that the scale of homelessness in Australia is both preventable and solvable. 

“In the first eight weeks of this pandemic alone, amongst the communities that the AAEH works with, over 5,000 people who were sleeping rough or at risk of sleeping rough have been temporarily sheltered,” said Mr Pearson. 

“Given there were 8,200 people sleeping rough at the last census, this represents one of most significant homelessness responses we’ve ever seen in Australia, but as we know this crisis is not over yet. That’s why we need urgent action from governments – homelessness can be solved by policy.” 

The campaign coincides with the organisation’s 7-point policy plan and Submission to the Inquiry into the Homelessness in Australia and start of Inquiry hearings in Canberra to not just recover from COVID-19 but to ensure we see an end to rough sleeping homelessness. 

AAEH’s chair Karyn Walsh says that homelessness is as much a health policy issue as it is infrastructure and social services.

“People sleeping rough are an incredibly vulnerable health population, and if they get COVID-19 it will not just be bad for community transmission, it would be fatal for many of them. The best prescription we can provide for people sleeping rough as we recover from this health crisis is housing with support or simply a home – not a hotel room,” said Ms Walsh. 

Tags: 
COVID-19 Homelessness

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