Evolve Housing CEO Andrea Galloway has helped launch the 2017 Western Sydney Homeless Connect event today at Parramatta Town Hall. Evolve Housing has been the proud lead organiser of WSHC for the past three years, helping to significantly grow attendance and support for this much needed community event.
Speaking at the launch, Ms Galloway said that as a community housing provider Evolve Housing sees the reality of the housing affordability crisis and homelessness every day.
“We are finding more and more people turning to us for affordable and social housing as rising housing costs continue to push people to the brink of homelessness. Only 6% of people experiencing homelessness are rough sleepers, and while this is an important group of people we need to continue assisting, it’s the other 94% of ‘invisible homeless’ who are sleeping on couches, in cars, or overcrowded housing that we need connect with to prevent them from being caught the cycle of homelessness,” Ms Galloway said.
Recent statistics from National Shelter have shown that many low income households are paying up to 70% of their income on rent alone; leaving little left for life’s other basic necessities.
Ms Galloway said, “with so many people struggling to make ends meet, events like WSHC are vital to connect people with the right services such as finance, housing, legal support, employment and training, to support them through tough times. Many people who are a part of the ‘invisible homeless’ group would not consider themselves to be homeless because they have a roof over their head, but we know home is much more than just a shelter. A home needs to be safe, secure and provide opportunities through a supported network for a person to re-build their life”
Ms Galloway was joined by a range of Western Sydney services who came together to launch WSHC 2017, including Amanda Chadwick, Administrator of the City of Parramatta, and representatives from St Vincent de Paul Society Western Sydney; Parramatta Mission; Western Sydney University; Evolve Housing for Youth; TAFE SWSI; Cumberland Women’s Health Centre; and the City of Parramatta.
The WSHC 2017 will be held on Monday 7th August 2017 at Centenary Square, Parramatta. For more information head to www.wshc.com.au.