Freo's View

FREMANTLE HOMELESS FORUM

Posted in city of fremantle, community, homelessness, Uncategorized by freoview on October 17, 2017

 

Oct 18. Homeless Forum Townhall

 

The HOMELESS FORUM at the Fremantle Townhall tomorrow evening is very important to attend to learn to understand better why people are homeless and how they can be better supported by the community and local, state and federal government.

It is on Wednesday October 18 from 6 pm to 7.30pm, so do come along please!

 

Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!

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HOMELESSNES A VERY REAL PROBLEM

Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, homelessness, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 4, 2017

 

An article in today’s West Australian by Ian Carter, the CEO of Anglicare WA, should be reminder to us all that we need to do more for homeless people. It is a blight on society that in a rich country like Australia thousands of people have to live on the streets.

Ian Carter writes that only one per cent of rental properties in the Perth area are affordable to people on Newstart or on a pension. That is ridiculously low and not acceptable.

Affordable rent is considered to be no more than 30 per cent of income, hence the latest Census shows we have 9592 homeless people and another 7070 are at risk of becoming homeless, as they live in caravan parks and overcrowded accommodation.

The main reasons for becoming homeless, according to Anglicare, are domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental health, financial troubles, and substance use.

The Anglicare CEO writes in the West Australian that social housing should be near transport nodes and accessible to human services and government resources.

It is important not to see homeless people as an unsightly sight on our streets, but as people who deserve and require our compassion and support. I have no doubt we could do a whole lot better if we really tried.

 

Roel Loopers

 

FREO DONATION BOXES LITTLE HELP FOR BEGGARS

Posted in beggars, charity, city of fremantle, homelessness, local government by freoview on October 6, 2016

homeless

No matter what positive spin the City of Fremantle puts up about the five charity donation boxes in Fremantle, to discourage street begging, they have been less than successful.

Five colourful boxes were installed in mid February this year but the total sum donated to the St Patrick’s Community Centre up to October 3 has only been $ 7,126.70. That included the City matching public donations dollar for dollar.

This ends up being only $ 3.96 per day, so not even two dollar per day from the public, who clearly continue to donate to individual beggars, although we see fewer of them after safety officers have been moving them on.

There are no easy solutions to combat homelessness and street begging, but it is clear that the donation boxes in Fremantle have done very little to improve the funds at St Patricks as four dollars a day does not even buy a meal for one single beggar.

Roel Loopers

HEART-BREAKING FREO HOMELESSNESS

Posted in community, fremantle, homelessness, western australia by freoview on September 12, 2016

homeless

 

I find it heart-breaking and deeply sad that a wealthy country like Australia has so many homeless people.

We have the development percentage for art, for heritage, and some councils even have a percentage for public open space, but there is not a percentage for homelessness that I know off.

Fremantle does have a 15 per cent requirement for affordable housing in new residential apartment development, but that is often reduced because developers claim it is not financially viable to build affordable housing.

Yesterday morning there were three homeless people at Princess May Park, three at the post office, one at the bead shop next to it, and I know several find shelter on the verandas and in backyards of the cottages at Arthur Head, while others sleep in the caves below the Roundhouse and under the boardwalk at Bathers Beach.

I find it cold at home with the heater on, so how bad must it be for these poor souls. Surely we can do better than this Australia!

Roel Loopers

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STARLIGHT HOTEL CHOIR FIGHTS POVERTY

Posted in fremantle, homelessness, western australia by freoview on August 24, 2016

oxjam

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FREMANTLE HOMELESSNESS NOT A LIFESTYLE CHOICE

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, community, homelessness, st patricks, western australia by freoview on July 13, 2016

I am a big fan of the monthly Fremantle Network events at the National Hotel because we can hear first hand and face to face what is going on in Fremantle and the vision people have for our city. We can contribute by sharing ideas and asking questions, so that we can make informed decisions.

Last night TFN presented Victor Crevatin who is the director for homelessness and support services at St Patrick’s, which was established in Fremantle in 1972.

Victor told us that 200 people a day come to Freo’s St Pats and that they provided 16,300 meals in six months, some of them served by primary school volunteers. They also provided 1,800 free health services in the six months.

Crevatin said St Pats were branching out and diversifying their services, reaching out to women with The Sisters Place, free dental health care for homeless people, youth and mental health housing programs, women shelters, etc, but disappointingly they could not assist 300 people due to lack of resources.

The yearly Street Register counted 68 homeless people over two mornings, but there are many who don’t want to be caught and counted within the system. Nearly 60% of those counted were Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders and that is a big concern that needs to be addressed, Victor said. He also urged for a special health service for this group.

Most homeless people in Fremantle were 25 years and older and homeless for five years while those under 24 years had been homeless for six and a half years.

Victor Cretavin said that agencies needed to collaborate better but egos at management levels were often in the way and the fact that the agencies were all fighting for the same limited pot of gold of funding.

He said it was not good enough to just offer affordable housing but that support needed to be provided to the tenants to make it work. But he said affordable housing needed to be accepted by the community as there was a NIMBY attitude to providing accommodation because of perceived social issues.

“Homelessness is not going away and we need to do something together as a community!”

Cretavin said he was disappointed that the recent long Federal election campaign had not addressed homelessness and housing and he put new Fremantle MP Josh Wilson who was in the audience on the spot to say a few words about that. It was probably Josh’s first public talk since being elected.

Wilson said the challenge is one for all of us and that in real terms public housing was the same as twenty years ago. “We need a common ground model for agencies to work better together.”

The Labor party understands that homelessness is a huge issue with some 100,000 homeless people in Australia, Wilson said and that while in government Labor had a policy of halving homelessness by 2025.

Victor Cretavin then took over and told us that many homeless people were on the streets because of domestic violence, alcohol, mental health and drug issues, etc and that many are just scared. The system is so bogged down in risk assessment that it turns down people who end up living on the streets.

We need better education and plant the seeds of community awareness so the community understands the issues around homelessness better, and that should start in primary schools. “Homelessness is not a lifestyle choice!”

He said an 11-year-old boy had made 200 homelessness packs and there was scope for all kind of volunteers, even data collecting.

We are looking for small little wins, Victor said and suggested the City of Fremantle could make a carpark available for those who sleep in cars, to create a safer environment for them.

I believe if that was done portable toilets and showers would also need to be provided and of course on site security, but would the community near that designated carpark accept it and how to stop it from becoming another backpackers camping ground?

These are huge challenges but we need to address them as a community. Homelessness is not acceptable in our wealthy country and it is not a pretty sight. It’s a bit like looking in the mirror and seeing shit on your face.

I am convinced that especially here in Fremantle with all the caring and warm-hearted people we can and must do better!

Roel Loopers

 

 

 

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HOMELESSNESS WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP

Posted in city of fremantle, homelessness, notre dame university by freoview on May 9, 2016

Sleep Out Under the Stars

The Fremantle University of Notre Dame and St Pat’s Community Support Centre are organising a fundraising Sleep Out Under The Stars event this Saturday May 14 from 5.30 pm in the Malloy Courtyard in Mouat Street.

This is a family friendly fundraiser with music, activities for children, heart and soul warming soup and company and the chance to sleep a night under the stars and see what it feels like, or just come for a few hours to show your support and.

It is $ 25 for adults and $ 10 for children or $ 60 for a family of four.

On at six tonight is a talk by the CEO OF SHELTER and Freo Mayor Brad Pettitt about homelessness in Fremantle. It’s a free event at the Library and starts at 6 pm.

Roel Loopers

Posted in city of fremantle, homelessness, western australia by freoview on May 5, 2016

Homelessness in Fremantle

Homelessness is a subject close to my heart, as I see no reason why people should sleep on the streets in a wealthy state like Western Australia. It breaks my heart to see the poor bastards sleep in doorways where they are so vulnerable to abuse. They are all around us and their numbers are increasing but society treats these people like the scum of the earth. Now that the colder months are here their plight is getting worse and they are freezing at night!

On Monday May 16 from 6-7.30 pm there will be a talk about homeless people in Fremantle in the Fremantle Library, so come along and see if we have any new ideas to solve this ever-increasing problem.

Listen to Chantal Roberts the Executive Officer at SHELTER and Freo Mayor Brad Pettitt.

RSVP essential for this free event.

Roel Loopers

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I AM TAKING MY MEDICINE HAT OFF FOR THIS HOMELESSNESS SOLUTION

Posted in city of fremantle, homelessness, medicine hat by freoview on May 16, 2015

Maybe I am just a naive dogooder but the story about the city of Medicine Hat in the south of the Canadian state of Alberta inspired me and made me wish that we here in Fremantle would do something similar.

In 2009 the Medicine Hat Council pledged to put and end to homelessness in their city and six years later they have achieved it. No one spends more than ten days in emergency shelter or on the streets, as the city will provide them with a house.

The Mayor of Medicine Hat was against the proposal when he was still an Alderman on council in 2009, but says now he is totally converted and that the system works. He claims it also costs a lot less to provide people with accommodation than it costs to look after them while they are sleeping rough.

It breaks my heart here in Fremantle, in such a special place on earth, with great community spirit and in a very wealthy state in a very wealthy nation, that we have so many homeless people. I see 4-5 homeless people most early morning at the Freo Post Office, looking miserable and cold. Up at Captain’s Lane near the Round House, in the caves at Arthur Head, under the bushes and boardwalk at Bathers Beach, and in shop entries all over the city, many more of the poor bastards try to stay dry and warm and find some shelter. It makes me so sad and disappointed that we don’t look better after those who need our help.

Yes I know that some have themselves to blame, I am aware that some are drug addicts and others are alcoholics, but I also know that many have been raised in disfunctional families and had to endure violent and sexual abuse. Medicine Hat did not judge their homeless people, they did not blame them, and they did not say it is the State’s problem, they decided they could do something about it and they did, and we in Freo could do something similar!

Roel Loopers

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