August 4th – 10th was Homeless Person’s Week.
The theme of Homeless Persons’ Week 2014 was Homelessness: We Can’t Afford to Ignore It and the focus was on how ignoring homelessness causes significant costs to individuals, government and society.
Illawarra Forum members regularly advise that the lack of affordable, secure and appropriate housing is the greatest unmet need for their clients. This unmet need affects organisations’ ability to properly address clients’ needs, and certainly imposes significant costs – both financial and emotional.
In recognition of Homeless Person’s Week, the Illawarra Forum hosted a Seminar on “Navigating Housing Options” to outline the Housing Pathways NSW program as well as highlighting other housing alternatives for clients. Some 90 frontline workers attended and gained information and skills to help support clients in need of housing. In lieu of payment, we asked participants to donate non-perishable food items or toiletries. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of attendees.
Warm thanks to our keynote speaker, Gary Moore from Homelessness NSW and to all of our presenters on the day. Special thanks to NSW Family and Community Services for sponsoring the event. And congratulations to Donna Brotherson who was the visionary behind the event, and to Tessa Parsons who made it all happen!