As Homelessness Week reached its end, Kim O’Keeffe, the Nationals Member for Shepparton District, is urging the community to carry on the conversation and to tackle ways that we can address homelessness.
“There are hundreds of people urgently waiting for housing across the district and my office is regularly contacted by local people in desperate need of housing,” said Ms O’Keeffe.
“Everyone deserves a home and this year’s theme, ‘It’s time to end homelessness’ highlights the enormous task at hand. We must continue to strive for housing support and solutions to assist those that desperately need our help.”
More than 100,000 Victorians sought help from homelessness services in 2022, while 30,000 people in the state are homeless on any given night.
Of the 30,605 Victorians who were homeless on Census night 2021, 418 were in Greater Shepparton and 78 in Moira Shire.
During the homelessness week, Ms O’Keeffe met with service provider Wellways Australia at their Shepparton office where staff members have banded together to craft 450 paper houses.
It was part of an initiative ahead of Homelessness Week, where 6,000 paper homes were laid on the steps of Victorian Parliament, calling for serious reforms to housing.
The 6,000 paper homes represented the number of houses in the state needed to build each year to address the growing housing crisis.
On Friday, Ms O’Keeffe also joined the community in a walk organised by the Salvation Army around Lake Victoria to raise awareness of homelessness.
“It is clear by the amount of people in the community and from different services that participated in ‘Walking Home Shepparton’ that there’s a lot of concern and support for those in our community facing homelessness and housing stress,” she said.
“Homelessness Week raises awareness but every day there is a need to support people without a home.”
You can visit the Wellways’ display of tiny origami houses at their office located at 79B Wyndham Street, Shepparton.