Compass has again thrown its support behind an initiative to help those in the Hunter region experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.
A record 1300 people guests attended the region’s annual Hunter Homeless Connect Day (HHCD) at the Newcastle Showground Exhibition Centre.
Compass Housing’s Michelle Faithfull acted as co-ordinator for the event again this year. Compass Housing has tenant support staff on hand as well representatives from its Grow A Star program and Shout Out Mental Health program at the event.
Compass was one of a record 125 government and non-government services and 50 volunteers working together to provide support and information to people in a welcoming and non-judgmental environment.
Free services included health checks, eye tests and glasses, hearing tests, immunisations, podiatry services and diabetes screening. Blankets, coats and toiletry packs donated by Hunter residents and businesses were also available to those in need.
This was the event’s ten-year anniversary. The theme was “I am homeless, but I’m also… (human)”. As well as providing services to many who are doing it tough, the focus of HHCD is to provide an inclusive, non-judgmental environment where people can find support, practical help, to feel heard and to experience what many of us take for granted.
Hunter Homeless Connect Day is convened by the not-for-profit organisation, Hunter Homeless Connect Inc. For more information visit the Hunter Homeless Connect Day Facebook page or www.hunterhomelessconnect.org
In addition to its support of Hunter Homeless Connect Day, Compass also provides secretariat support to the Hunter’s Big Ideas Homelessness Network.
- 189,400 Australian households are waiting for social housing.
- 28,000 Australians between 12-25 years old are experiencing homelessness every night.
- A survey conducted by volunteers at the 2018 HHCD event revealed that for the third straight year, women outnumbered men among those seeking assistance. The 40-54 age group (combined) represented the largest number of attendees.
- The Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said that 116,42 people were homeless on census night in 2016, representing 50 homeless people per 10,000. 1,750 of those were experiencing homelessness in the Hunter region.
What can people do to help people experiencing homelessness?
- Help change the language and attitudes. People experience homelessness, they aren’t “homeless”. Homelessness is not an identity. It's an event in a person's life – with a cause and a solution.
- Volunteer for or donate to an organisation that is working to eliminate homelessness.
- Provide training or work experience for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.
- Take the Newcastle & Hunter Ending Homelessness Pledge at the Hunter’s Big Ideas Homelessness Network’s website – www.bigideashomelessnessnetwork.org