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“We have busted open the stereotype of homeless people”

Karalee Katsambanis

Pan Pacific Hotel Perth General Manager Rob Weeden says the Hotels for Heart program housing some of Perth’s homeless population has helped reduce the stigma around homelessness.

20 homeless people are currently staying at the Pan Pacific and Mr Weeden said it had been an incredibly eye-opening experience for his staff.

“The group staying represented the most vulnerable component of people who are sleeping rough in Perth at the moment,”he said.

“We have had some beautiful stories, people dealing with sobriety, getting used to showers, linen and sleeping in a bed again. People moving towards recovery.”

“We will see the first group of people move into permanent housing options, which was always the goal of this.

“It is also such a feel good experience for our people.”

The program is a partnership with the State Government and could extend to taking up 120 rooms at the Pan Pacific and opening up to victims of domestic violence or those experiencing mental health issues, along with homelessness.

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Karalee Katsambanis
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