Perth homeless crisis: ‘Tent city is not the answer’
Shelter WA are calling for more social housing investments in WA to help people living rough across the state.
A number of “tent cities” have popped up throughout Perth and Fremantle providing temporary accommodation for the homeless.
CEO of Shelter WA, Michelle Mackenzie, told 6PR’s Liam Bartlett “it’s got to that stage because we have dropped the ball in investing in social housing”
She said about 1000 people live on the streets across WA.
“On top of that we’ve got about 8000 people who are also technically homeless living in overcrowded situations, couch surfing or staying with friends.”
She said tents are not a sufficient answer to the problem, with 40 people losing their lives on WA streets last year alone.
“How do you sustain a good life, get healthy, and get well when you don’t have a fundamental place to live,” she said.
“People are on the streets because we don’t have enough social housing, there are 15,000 people on the waitlist for a home.”
6PR News reporter Julian Douglas spoke with people at tent city in Fremantle this morning.
“All they want is a roof over their head,” he said.
“Whether it’s their own tent or one that’s been donated, they at least have some shelter and a sense of community.”
Click play to hear the full interview.
Minister for Community Services, Simone McGurk told 6PR Mornings “tent city” is denying people access to vital services.
“I don’t think this is a good solution for homeless people,” she said.
“It is drawing them away from organisations that have expertise.”
She admitted that “there is more to do” in the social housing space.
Click play to hear more from the Minister.
(Photo: WA Today.)