Homeless to give an insight into their plight
Albany Community Foundation is holding a series of events for Homelessness Week to put the spotlight on a pressing issue in the region.
ACF spokeswoman Stacey Murnane said homelessness was often unrecognisable in regional towns like Albany.
At any given time there were about 300 homeless people in the Great Southern region and 80 couples living in their vehicles, Ms Murnane said.
“Homeless (people) in regional towns are often hidden,” Ms Murnane said.
“It’s not as prevalent and not so much in your face — it’s almost an unrecognised issue unless you work in the industry.”
Ms Murnane said there was a misconception that people chose to be homeless.
“It’s never their choice to be homeless and sleeping rough,” she said.
“It could be because they left their jobs, domestic violence, family breakdown — it comes in so many different formats.”
To raise awareness, the ACF is hosting a Couch Conversations event at the library today, where guests can listen to personal stories from people who have experienced homelessness. “We want the public to come and listen to someone who has been homeless or experienced homelessness in a more intimate setting, rather than what you read in social media or in the news,” Ms Murnane said.
“We have two speakers for the event this year.
“One of them will be sharing their journey and how they are no longer homeless now due to the help they receive from different agencies.”
The speakers will share a five-minute documentary and conduct a Q&A session.
The ACF has also organised Albany’s Big Sleep Out, which will be held at the Town Square on Thursday.
“All funds raised at Couch Conversations and the sleep-out event will go to the Homelessness Fund, which is held by the ACF,” Ms Murnane said.
“Certain agencies in town will have direct access to that to deal with crisis cases immediately, rather than having to go through an application process.”
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails