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Easy to find yourself homeless

HELPING OUT: Caboolture Community Action support worker Gillian Davis and donation delivery truck driver Victor Davis.
HELPING OUT: Caboolture Community Action support worker Gillian Davis and donation delivery truck driver Victor Davis. Cathy Moore

IT DOESN'T take much to become homeless and statistics state there are hundreds of thousands of Australians who are currently in this situation, with Caboolture said to have a significant problem.

Caboolture Community Action president Sharin Geeves said homeless people don't always fit the stereotype.

"It's the person next door or even yourself,” she said.

"It only takes one or two incidents to knock the whole deck of cards down and all of a sudden people find themselves without a home.”

The Caboolture Family Haven provides supported housing for families and manager Gail Torrens said domestic violence and mental health were two of the leading causes.

"No one chooses homelessness,” she said.

According to the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics housing data, there are 105,237 people facing homelessness in our country.

A Caboolture Regional Domestic Violence Service spokeswoman agreed thatdomestic and family abuse were a leading

cause.

"In the case of a family fleeing from domestic violence, there is often no place for them to go except a refuge,” the spokeswoman said.

"After that they have limited housing options because public housing stocks are low and often theperson has come from two incomes and now they're relying on one or they may not have a rental history.”

Micah Projects specialises in supporting those who are mentally ill and homeless.

Chief executive Karyn Walsh said more than 70% of homeless people have mental health issues.

"People's mental illness can impact on behaviours and behaviours impact on the ability to keep tenancies,” she said.

"Homelessness can also impact on mental health due to the stress and conditions they face, so the two issues intertwine.

"Caboolture does have a significant issue for it because people move therefor the affordability but if they aren't getting services then the risk increases.”

Member for Morayfield Mark Ryan said 330 new dwellings will be constructed in the Moreton Bay region over the next five years to help combat this issue.

"Homelessness is a complex issue - people can find themselves without a safe, secure home for a variety of reasons,” Mr Ryan said.

"Homelessness can occur due to family break-ups, domestic violence, financial problems or mental health. It can happen to anyone, at any time.”

If you are homeless or at risk of facing homelessness, phone the Homeless Hotline on 1800 474 753.


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