Home is more than four walls and a roof. It’s a place where people can feel safe and secure.
Access to this kind of housing is a basic human right but sadly, there are over 122,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in Australia (ABS 2021). Most of these people are hidden from sight. ‘Rough sleepers’ only represent 9% of Australia’s homeless population (ABS 2021) while the rest are forced to ‘couch surf’, seek shelter in a car, live in a caravan park or rely on temporary accommodation. They may have shelter but no permanent place to call home.
Working together to eliminate the reasons why people become homeless in the first place is key to addressing homelessness in Australia. Domestic and family violence remains one of the leading causes of homelessness in Australia (AIHW 2019), which is why the work we do, at Jenny’s Place, is so important.
We not only offer emergency shelter and transitional accommodation for women and children but aim to intervene early to prevent homelessness, by supporting women to remain safely in their homes, or to secure stable housing. Find out more here.
With National Homelessness Week (7 -13 August) coming up, which aims to raise awareness of homelessness in Australia and the importance of social housing as a long-term solution, here are six ways you can get involved this year.
Be informed and raise awareness
Stay informed of the facts and share this knowledge with the people around you. You’ll find a range of articles, tools, and guides on our website or in person at our Newcastle Domestic Violence Resource Centre. Why not share Jenny’s Place content on your social media channels or simply start a conversation with your friends, family or colleagues.
Care for a rough sleeper
If you’re concerned about someone sleeping rough, then our ‘care for a rough sleeper’ tool on our website allows you to report their last known location as well as any other information you’re aware of. Our Outreach team will then visit the location of the person, talk with them about their needs and refer them to emergency accommodation or other support services.
Make a donation
Like many, we are NOT government funded and rely solely on the generosity and kindness of the community for support. Your financial donation enables us to provide essentials to women and children experiencing domestic violence and homelessness. Your contribution also keeps the doors of our Newcastle Domestic Violence Resource Centre open which supports 39 women each month, on average, by providing long-term case management, practical assistance, support and information to allow them to rebuild their lives.
We also appreciate and accept donated goods which include new clothing, shoes and accessories for women and children, toiletries, laundry products and gift vouchers.
Run a fundraiser
Involve your family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues to help raise awareness and much-needed funds. Why not set a fitness challenge and get people to support your efforts, run an online fundraiser for your birthday and ask for donations rather than gifts or get together with your school community or workplace and host a raffle, trivia night, bake-off, dress-up day and ask for an entry fee or donation.
We even have a Fundraising Pack where you’ll find everything you need to help you fundraise.
Engage your workplace
Be a champion for women and children in your workplace. Talk to your employer about exploring workplace training and setting up a workplace-giving program. Find out more here.
Almost two-thirds of women who experience domestic and family violence have paid jobs. Without the right support, they are likely to suffer absenteeism, presenteeism (coming to work sick), decreased productivity, poor job satisfaction and low morale. Jenny’s Place helps to ensure that working women are supported to maintain their employment, develop workplace safety plans where necessary, and access domestic violence services.
Ask your workplace to contribute to the safety of the women you work with and their families through:
- Corporate Training: We offer domestic violence awareness training to ensure that your company is safeguarding the women you work with and their families.
- Sponsorship: Help us provide essential support, services and advice to women in need in our community
- Fundraising: Find out about our fundraising options and upcoming campaigns to see how you can get involved!
Write to your local council and MPs
With social housing waitlists at their max, there are not enough safe, secure homes in Australia. This year, the Federal Government is developing a 10-year National Housing and Homelessness Plan. For that plan to make a real difference, we need it to be ambitious and to be backed by the commitment and resources needed to end homelessness. Show your support and advocate for this by sending a letter to your local council, State and Federal MPs.