Homelessness is a "national obscenity" and it would be a disgrace if Australia failed to act on the issue, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said in a speech yesterday.
Adelaide Now reports with over 100,000 Australians homeless every night, including 10,000 children under 12, Mr Rudd said "we can and must do better on this."
Mr Rudd released a Green Paper on homelessness and called for "bold new ideas" from interested groups, business and the wider community.
A committee, chaired by the executive director of the Anglican welfare group Brotherhood of St Laurence, Tony Nicholson, will use those hearings and submissions to prepare a white paper for the Government by August.
Catholic Social Services Australia said it would present a submission to the Government's green paper and believed the chronic shortage of assistance for homeless people was evidence enough of the need for urgent action.
"Homelessness is not just about accommodation, the causes stem from a whole range of unmet social need," said executive director Frank Quinlan.
"While providing a roof over someone's head is central to the solution, realistic resources must be poured into ensuring people get access to services that help with drug and alcohol problems, mental health issues, managing finances and a raft of other services."SOURCE
Kevin Rudd says homelessness threatens to become national disgrace (Adelaide Now, 23/5/08)