WITH a quarter of all Tasmanians who are experiencing homelessness aged between 12 and 24, there was a strong focus on young people during this year’s National Homelessness Week.
Thirty percent of people experiencing homelessness are staying temporarily at other people’s homes, or ‘couch surfing’.
Clarence City Council drew attention to the impact of homelessness through a range of initiatives, including the ‘Off the Couch’ event at Rosny Skate Park on 4 August.
The council partnered with a number of key service providers to present the free event which featured skateboard demonstrations and competitions, music, giveaways, food and drinks, staff from a range of housing services and homelessness organisations sharing information, and a panel of guest speakers giving personal insights into their lived experiences with homelessness.
Clarence Deputy Mayor Heather Chong said the council was extremely concerned about the rise of homelessness across Hobart and has been proactively looking into practical ways to help.
Last year the council created 100 backpacks full of essentials and critical service information to help those sleeping rough. It is currently working to arrange shower facilities at Clarence on the Bay for people sleeping rough in the Kangaroo Bay area.
“It is deeply concerning to see such a rise in homelessness in our city and it really saddens me to hear of the high percentage of our young people experiencing this hardship,” she said.
“We have already taken steps to see what practical assistance we can offer to people who are sleeping rough in our municipality and council is actively engaged in researching ways in which we can ease the pressure for people facing housing hardship in Clarence.”