Action on homelessness story

Maggie Dent - Ambassador, Yvonne Keane - Chair, Sarrah Le Marquand - Ambassador, Dannielle Miller - WCS Education Officer, Annabelle Daniel - CEO, WCS
Maggie Dent - Ambassador, Yvonne Keane - Chair, Sarrah Le Marquand - Ambassador, Dannielle Miller - WCS Education Officer, Annabelle Daniel - CEO, WCS

Experts will present truths about homelessness at coming forum

The number of older homeless women in Australia increased by over 30% between 2011 and 2016 to nearly 7,000 according to the Australian Human Rights Commission. Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson said without innovative solutions the problem will increase.

To answer the call to push for solutions there will be a forum in Baulkham Hills on Tuesday, March 3.

Action on Homelessness: Older Women in Crisis, will feature a panel of speakers including the CEO of Women’s Community Shelters (WCS) Annabelle Daniel; Bev Barker, Chair of the Older Women’s Network and Alison O’Neil from Link Housing. A collaboration between WCS and Link Housing saw the transformation, last year of an unused aged care facility at Beecroft into accommodation for 20 older women. The forum has been organised by members of the Hills and the Hornsby branches of the women’s organisation, Soroptimist International.

“The ways in which women over 55 become homeless is increasing, mainly due to housing affordability in sydney is going through the roof,” Ms Daniel said.

“The crossover between homelessness and nonhomelessness can come down to having three or four shifts per week in a casual position.”

The forum will address how homelessness occurs, the factors involved in it and the shortage of public housing for the increasing applicants.

“Today a woman applying for bed through us would have a 20% chance of getting in, and that may leave the only alternative to be a hotel room.”

One subject Ms Daniel said will also be addressed is the relationship between domestic abuse and homelessness.

“We know from the bureau of statistics that the numbers of reported incidents of domestic violence in the Hills area is low, but that’s the tip of the iceberg. For all the women staying in our community shelters, only 25 to 35 percent have reported their stories to the police.”

The forum will begin from 7pm and continue to 9pm at the Rydges Hotel, Norwest, 1, Columbia Court, Baulkham Hills. The entry fee will be $10. To book the tickets online, visit the facebook page www.facebook.com/events/523220808281429/

For more information email sihornsby@siswp.org or call 0414 444 237.