Every Australian citizen has the
right to a home and shelter. We are each born into a family, and even if those circumstances are not wealthy,
our social security system has the obligation to ensure that as children, we are housed, fed and educated to the degree that
upon leaving the formal education system at whatever age that is, we are equipped with the education and opportunity to create
and afford a home for ourselves.
That does not necessarily mean we will always have that home, or that we cannot
lose the home through poor choices in business or life, or that misfortune, health or other reasons see us without a home
at some time. It is possible to be homeless in Australia, with the best of intentions.
this does not have to be a life sentence. We have the right to change and improve our circumstances, and
the opportunities to regain our status and station in life. But life isn’t always easy and what can
seem a solid and healthy life one day can be a materially devoid wasteland the next. There are numerous
homeless people in our towns and cities, many of whom would give anything they had for the opportunity to have their own homes
As a nation, we have an obligation to provide that opportunity, regardless of how humble that start
may seem to be.
As in every disaster, there are various stages of management of the situation.
Initially, there is crisis management, providing a shelter where a person who finds themselves homeless has a shelter
to go to, where they can at least be assured of a roof over their head and a simple meal.
be as simple as some dormitory accommodation with supervision to ensure that the facilities or the people taking shelter in
it are not being abused. Every town needs some boarding house accommodation for both male and female emergency
accommodation, and family unit accommodation. It is the obligation of the government to provide this crisis
accommodation, without questions. The amount of accommodation needs to be determined by the level of need,
as assessed by the people who are dealing with the issue of homelessness currently.
stage of dealing with the issue is taking the person or family out of the crisis accommodation and housing them somewhere
with some security, or restoring them to their own homes. This goes hand in hand with coming to an understanding
of why and how the problem occurred. It could be something as simple as a home being destroyed by fire
and a family without accommodation until they can rehouse and restart life. It may be a drug problem that
has robbed the person of mental stability, wealth and possessions as their habit took over their lives. Family
break-ups can see either partner on the street, mostly the husband/father will leave the home and need to find alternate accommodation,
but in domestic violence situations, often the mother and children need secure family accommodation.
each individual personal situation will require an assessment of the need, and an understanding of the cause.
From there, the decision must be made on how to handle the situation. In general, there will be
some typical situations and typical solutions for them:
- Crisis housing from disaster situations. Requires overnight accommodation, followed by perhaps
financial assistance until insurance or family can support the person or family out of the crisis and into new accommodation
- Mother and children, domestic violence victims. Crisis
accommodation with security overnight, police and domestic violence support initially, protection from the violence perpetrator.
Preferably rehousing, back into their home again, with the perpetrator removed. Access to counselling
services and protection from further violence.
- Homeless person, male or female, “down
on their luck”. Crisis accommodation initially, counselling and support, registration for unemployment
benefits and employment support, to enable them to be self sufficient in a short time and live by their own means.
Shared accommodation, boarding house or special purpose ordinary single, gender specific accommodation.
- Homeless person, mentally unstable. Immediate housing in suitable supervised accommodation, with
qualified medical supervision. This housing could be in hospital or other suitable secure accommodation.
- Homeless person, drug dependant. Immediate housing in drug detoxifying and rehabilitation centre,
for at least three months of total substance abstinence and treatment. Release from there into supervised
accommodation for social rehabilitation and daily testing for traces of substance abuse. Ongoing social
and career training and development for re-entry to society.
- Homeless youth.
Crisis accommodation, supervised by blue card dormitory/hostel supervisors, with a coordinated counselling program
between parents and youth, educating both parties into circumstances and behaviours to enable the family unit to be healed.
If that is not possible, ongoing education and support for the youth to re-enter society, housed in supervised accommodation
until self-sufficiency and self-support is possible.
All of these situations require different solutions
and housing facilities for suitable outcomes to be obtained. The assumptions here are that the other policy
changes have been made so that drugs are less readily available, criminals are apprehended and sentenced to real jail terms,
and the transaction taxation reform system is implemented to enable fairer life, career and business opportunities are available
for every Australian citizen.
Assuming that this has occurred, whilst medical intervention is necessary without
the consent of the person who is mentally unstable or drug dependant, in the other situations, the person will ultimately
have free choice of whether to accept the opportunity and support, or to reject it. However, it is the
responsibility of the community, through the governmental bodies, to provide the housing and life support and guidance for
those who choose to accept the opportunity.