This International Women’s Day we’re using hard data to shatter community perceptions about homelessness.
Contrary to the stereotype of the older male rough sleeper, the person mostly likely to seek help from a homeless service is a woman aged 25-34 years. Last financial year, 62% of Victorians needing homeless help were female. That’s nearly 2-in-3 clients.
Homelessness is on the rise in every city, town and suburb. But worryingly, the rate at which women are seeking help is growing much faster than men. Over the last 3 years, there has been a 14% increase in the number of women needing help from services, compared to a 10% rise in men.
Women’s homelessness can be easier to ignore, because they’re less likely to be sleeping on the street, but the effects of homelessness are damaging and lasting, no matter what form it takes. Women are more likely to be at risk of homelessness because of inherent financial disadvantage, a lack of housing that women on low incomes can afford, and the increasing reporting of family violence, which continues to be a major driver of homelessness. A mother on single parenting payments looking for a two-bedroom rental in Melbourne, has just 2-in-100 properties which she could afford (DHS, Rent Report, 2016)…(continues)
SOURCE: Blog Post, “IWD 2017: We won’t have true equality until women have the housing and support they need”, Council to Homeless Persons, 08 March 2017
BroCAP is produced by the two librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia.