High toll of homelessness crisis revealed

CatholicCare

The gruelling toll of homelessness was laid bare at a CatholicCare Tasmania event in Launceston during Homelessness Week. Source: Hobart Archdiocese.

One mother of four revealed how she and her family returned to Tasmania after fleeing domestic violence interstate. They were homeless for two-and-a-half years, at times sleeping in their car, as they were rejected for more than 400 private rentals.

The working mum with “a perfect rental history” revealed: “We moved 12 times in 19 months. My children attended five different schools in three states.”

This took a toll on the mother’s mental health.

“My mental health suffered severely,” she said. “I cannot even begin to explain the depression that came from 320-plus [unsuccessful] housing applications in [another state] and 120 applications in Tasmania.

“I kept asking, what was I doing wrong? I wasn’t doing anything wrong. We are in the middle of a housing crisis. It is nothing to be ashamed of.”

Eventually, with the assistance of CatholicCare Tasmania, the family was allocated transitional housing, which she described as “a godsend” but they will still need to find a permanent home after that.

CatholicCare Tasmania’s Housing Connect Support, North and North-West team leader Nic Green said the key message of Homelessness Week is homelessness can happen to anybody.

Guy Barnett, the Minister for State Development, Construction and Housing, attended the event and praised the courage of those who had shared their experiences with homelessness. He also thanked CatholicCare and other service providers for their “awesome” care and support of clients experiencing homelessness.

FULL STORY

High toll of homelessness crisis (By Wendy Shaw, Hobart Archdiocese) 

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