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Second connection event throws renewed spotlight on increasing issue of homelessness in Albany

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
More than 160 people were experiencing homelessness in Albany in early December.
Camera IconMore than 160 people were experiencing homelessness in Albany in early December. Credit: Albany Homelessness Connection Event

A recently released report has shown that at least 165 people were experiencing homelessness in Albany in early December.

The report was compiled from data gathered from 98 participants at the second Albany Homelessness Connection Event, which took place on December 6.

The community-driven event has been led by Advance Housing Limited and Albany Youth Support Association with support from a number of other local agencies as well as the City of Albany.

It has been designed as a means of gathering more up-to-date data to provide a clearer picture of the extent of homelessness issues in Albany.

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The December event at Alison Hartman Gardens provided homeless residents a hot meal while connecting them to relevant agencies to discuss their situations.

A similar event in May attracted more than 80 participants and showed about 130 people were experiencing homelessness in Albany.

AYSA chief executive Ian Clarke said the 10 to 30-year age group continued to be the highest cohort of people experiencing homelessness.

“Regional cities face as much, if not more per capita, of people suffering homelessness without the benefit of the metro-based services,” he said.

“The evidence proves the need for early intervention investment, with countless cost benefits that showcase significant financial returns to the community.

“With 31 per cent of those interviewed having children, it underscores the pressing issue of limited or no immediate housing options.”

The homelessness crisis in Albany is a real issue and the data collected at the Connections Event is a stark reminder of the urgent need for compassionate, community-driven solutions.

AHL chief executive John Lysaught

The latest report shows more than 40 per cent of participants had been homeless for between one to six months.

For more than 25 per cent of participants the most recent place they had lived was jail or juvenile detention and a further 22.5 per cent reported having most recently lived with friends or family on a temporary basis.

AHL chief executive John Lysaught said the data tells the story that homelessness is a serious problem in Albany.

Data shows that most people experiencing homelessness in Albany are under the age of 30.
Camera IconData shows that most people experiencing homelessness in Albany are under the age of 30. Credit: Albany Homelessness Connection Event

“The homelessness crisis in Albany is a real issue and the data collected at the Connections Event is a stark reminder of the urgent need for compassionate, community-driven solutions,” he said.

“As we navigate the complexities of this issue, our collective commitment must grow stronger, emphasising not only shelter but also understanding, support, and a united effort to bring about positive change for those experiencing homelessness.”

Albany mayor Greg Stocks said the data was eye-opening.

“The data shows us that homelessness is happening to men and women equally, with the majority having experienced homelessness for 12 months or more and who have been finding shelter by couch surfing or sleeping rough,” he said.

“Through this initiative, we are not only providing immediate support to those in need, but also laying the foundation for comprehensive and informed strategies to tackle homelessness in our community.”

We must work together and advocate for meaningful solutions, fostering a community where homelessness is not just a crisis but a challenge we are committed to overcoming.

AYSA chief executive Ian Clarke

Mr Clarke said government support was needed to help the community address homelessness in Albany.

“This requires a multifaceted approach involving government, non-profit organisations, community and individuals with lived experiences,” he said.

“We must work together and advocate for meaningful solutions, fostering a community where homelessness is not just a crisis but a challenge we are committed to overcoming.”

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