Homelessness Week is an annual week coordinated by Homelessness Australia to raise awareness of people experiencing homelessness, the issues they face and the action needed to achieve enduring solutions. In 2018, Homelessness Week is the 6-12 August with a theme ‘Ending homelessness together’.
Homelessness Week came about from various churches and missions running winter vigils to remember people who had died on the streets. These vigils were normally held in August as it is the coldest time of the year and when most people were likely to be overcome by the elements. Over the years, more churches became involved and in 2007 Homelessness Australia (then the Australian Federations of Housing Organisations AFHO) began coordinating it as a national awareness week.
In keeping with this theme, in 2018 Homelessness Australia is encouraging the community to get active as citizens to call on political leaders to make the changes needed to end homelessness.
You can organise community events and invite an MP or Senator to join you, or go and visit your MP in homelessness week to tell them about the issue of homelessness in your community.
Homelessness Australia encourages people to connect their Homelessness Week activities and advocacy to the Everybody’s Home campaign—a national initiative aimed at ending homelessness. You can find the campaign at everybodyshome.com.au.
You can also get involved by connecting with the Church. This year , the Bishops’ Social Justice Statement is on homelessness and housing affordability, it will be released next month, and our annual October Social Justice Gathering will be devoted to the themes in the Statement. (Stay tuned for dates!) Also, the affordable rental housing campaign many of you have been part of over the last 3-4 years is moving into an exciting phase based on local actions led by St Vincent de Paul and Sydney Alliance. If you’re interested in getting involved or learning more, contact the office and check back here soon as we will be adding s section updating you on the housing campaign!