The number of Queensland women and children experiencing homelessness will now be much higher than recently released census data due to the impact of COVID, movement of residents into the state, affordable housing shortages and cost-of-living pressures, says an academic from Queensland University of Technology.
On Census Night 2021, 44% of the total number of people experiencing homelessness in Queensland were women and 24% were under the age of 18. How to tackle the growing problem will be the focus of the QUT Center for Justice public forum on March 29 –The future of housing and homelessness in Queenslandin partnership with the QUT Center for Decent Work and Industry and the TJ Ryan Foundation.
“Although the census shows a slight decrease overall in rates of people experiencing homelessness in Queensland, it is important to note that the 2021 census data collected when the nationwide COVID19 lockdown and pressures on housing in Queensland with residents moving into the state Dr. Shane Warren of the College of Public Health and Social Work at the College of Public Health and Social Work at Qatar University of Technology said that the increase in the cost of housing was only just beginning to occur.
“Our research with homelessness service providers at the end of last year showed that their services are under the most pressure of all.
“Children, youth, women and families are groups experiencing homelessness in increasing numbers and we know that domestic and family violence is a major driver of this. First Nations people also continue to be overrepresented in the data.”
Dr. Warren and Adam Barnes co-author a new Briefing Paper Giving a Voice to Those Most Vulnerable, published by the QUT Center for Justice to coincide with the Forum on Homelessness.
Entitled ‘I’ve Never Seen It This Bad: Priorities for Family Homelessness Research in the Community Sector in the Current Housing and Homelessness Crisis’, the paper concludes that the current housing and homelessness crisis across Australia reflects the failure of decades of neoliberal rule and widening social and economic inequalities.
“Many families experience homelessness for the first time as well as prolonged periods of homelessness due to an inadequate supply of social and affordable housing,” said Dr. Warren. “Our paper explores the relationship between research, policy, and practice and prioritizes family homelessness research.” .
The QUT Center for Justice publishes two more brief papers on this topic.
The first, “Supporting Mature Women Experiencing Housing Stress: A New Approach Based on Strengths,” was written by Professor Rebecca Russell Bennett and Professor Melissa Paul, Director of the QUT Center for Justice and keynote speaker on Wednesday’s panel discussion.
The paper focuses on the extent to which mature women in Australia are one of the fastest growing groups at risk of homelessness. The researchers found several common challenges including health issues, violence, debt, crisis, and access to affordable homes, and in the case of their project, the effects of changing circumstances such as loss of a job, income, or partner, can be the tipping point that leads to homelessness.
“The Women’s Butterfly Project has applied a prevention-focused approach to create a high-tech/touch-based toolkit that leverages the strengths of relevant industry partners, researchers and women themselves in order to enable women to retain adequate housing and enhance their well-being,” said Professor Ball.
The second is Homeless Youth and Domestic and Family Violence: Experiences, Challenges and Innovative Responses, written by Dr Danielle Davidson, Assistant Professor Bridget Harris and Dr Helena Menneh from La Trobe University.
It examines the complex needs of young people experiencing homelessness and domestic and family violence, as well as the broad barriers they face when seeking support and assistance.
“Young people may not recognize or normalize abuse, exacerbating the problem. Unfortunately, non-state and government sectors and agencies can be isolated, further complicating responses and impeding service delivery,” said Dr Davidson.
“To overcome this, some agencies have pursued an innovative embedded worker model aimed at connecting young people and domestic and family violence organisations, which can lead to better remediation of abuse and enhance youth safety and worker capacity and capabilities. Our paper includes the results of interviews we conducted with agencies in Brisbane using this model.”
“I’ve Never Seen It This Bad”: Priorities for Research on Family Homelessness in the Community Sector in the Current Housing and Homelessness Crisis: search.qut.edu.au/centre-for… AL_Warren_Barnes.pdf
Supporting mature women experiencing housing stress: A new approach based on strengths: search.qut.edu.au/centre-for… sellBennett-Bull.pdf
Homeless Youth and Domestic and Family Violence: Experiences, Challenges and Innovative Responses. search.qut.edu.au/centre-for… L-online-version.pdf
the quoteQueensland women, children and families bear brunt of homelessness, say briefing papers (2023, 28 March) Retrieved 28 March 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-03-queensland-women-children-families- brunt. programming language
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