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Working to end homelessness in Brisbane

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Working to end homelessness in Brisbane

Anyone could be homeless.

Anyone, regardless of their current circumstances, could be homeless. For many of us, it’s hard to comprehend being without a safe, permanent place to call home. For more than 105 000 Australians, this is a reality—that’s one in 200 people without accommodation on any given night across the country.

One hundred thousand people without a home. One hundred thousand people who may not know from where their next meal will come. One hundred thousand people without appropriate access to services such as healthcare.

What issues lead to homelessness? The reasons are as varied as they are complex: financial difficulties; relationship breakdowns; physical, emotional or sexual abuse; physical and mental health issues; and drug and alcohol abuse—and quite often it is a combination of these issues, which can make it a difficult situation to resolve.

So, how does this cycle end? How do we help people who find themselves in a vulnerable situation, often socially isolated and with wide ranging issues?

Housing. It’s as simple, and complicated, as that.

Before many other issues can be addressed, housing must first be secured. If someone is experiencing homelessness, they are likely to be worried about where they are sleeping, or where their next meal will come from—trying to address other issues such as health concerns or employment may not be either a priority, or even a possibility.

Since 2008, Mater has partnered with Micah Projects, who believe ‘every child and adult has the right to a home, an income, healthcare, education, safety, dignity, and connection with their community of choice’, to end homelessness in Brisbane.

It’s a partnership which extends to other like-minded organisations (such as St Vincent’s Private Hospital Brisbane since 2012) and one which reflects the Mater Mission to provide compassionate care. Whether this care is in the form of a Mater nurse providing accessible healthcare, helping someone transition from the streets to supported housing, or taking the time to genuinely listen and respond to the concerns of someone experiencing homelessness, we are working to ensure that homelessness does not define the story of anyone for whom we are privileged to care.

The results of the various initiatives implemented through the partnership speak for themselves, with the number of people housed continually increasing, hospital admissions decreasing, and significant savings to the Queensland health system. Mater also undertakes various community benefit work, to outreach to those who are most marginalised in our community, which is generously supported via Mater Foundation.

I know that Mater will continue in our Mission to provide compassionate care to those who need it most, including those in our community experiencing homelessness—because while anyone could be homeless, everyone deserves a home.

Madonna McGahan, Group Director Mission Leadership



Posted: 4/08/2016 7:47:09 AM by News @ Mater | with 2 comments

Tags: homelessness, Madonna McGahan, Mission