House key ring

What does it mean to be homeless?

By | Homelessness

On any given night in Australia, there are 116,000 people who are considered homeless. That’s about 50 homeless persons for every 10,000 people. And the rate of homelessness is only increasing – up 4.6 per cent in five years according the the latest data from the 2016 Census.

But what does it actually mean to be homeless?

The very word ‘homelessness’ conjures an image that alludes to sleeping rough. But in reality, this vision represents only about seven per cent of the homeless population.

While there’s no internationally recognised common definition of homelessness, in Australia our federal law defines it as ‘inadequate access to safe and secure housing’.

This includes where the only housing available to a person is likely to damage their health or threatens their safety, or perhaps marginalises them by failing to provide access to adequate personal amenities or the normal economic and social support of a home. It also includes where it may place them in circumstances that threaten or adversely affect the adequacy, safety, security and affordability of that housing.

What this doesn’t include is the multitude of people who are ‘sleeping rough’, which often involves people moving between friends and families houses in search of a safe night’s sleep.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) offers further insight to understand the complexities and help show how homelessness can affect people in different ways, depending on their own personal situations and needs.

To better understand homelessness in its various forms and what it looks like and what those people are experiencing, they’ve created three specific categories to specify the details and differences – primary, secondary and tertiary homelessness.

“Primary homelessness” includes those living on the streets, in parks, under bridges, in deserted buildings or improvised dwellings – or being ‘roofless’ or ‘sleeping out’ as it’s sometimes called. This is the most visible kind of homeless, but is the smallest statistic.

“Secondary homelessness” refers to people who are moving between various types of temporary shelters. This includes emergency accommodation, refuges and hostels, bunking with friends and relatives, and living in a boarding house on a long-term basis with shared amenities and no secure tenure.
And “tertiary homelessness” – people who are living in single rooms in private boarding houses without their own bathroom and kitchen, and no secure tenure.

It is important to recognise that all of these forms or levels of homelessness involve a group of people who are in need of safe and secure housing in order to get back on their feet and have the basic human right of shelter.

The Lady Musgrave Trust helps by focusing specifically on women and children’s homelessness throughout Queensland. We provide young women up to the age of 30 with low cost accommodation and support services in our portfolio in Brisbane and Ipswich. We also create and distribute The Handy Guide for Homeless Women and host a unique Annual Forum focused on women and homelessness.

As Queensland’s oldest charity, The Lady Musgrave Trust is committed to making a difference in the lives of those who find themselves homeless and in need at difficult times in their life.

christmas gift

Myer Indooroopilly Christmas gift wrapping to raise funds for The Lady Musgrave Trust

By | Blog, Homelessness, News

This Christmas, volunteers from St Peters Lutheran College will be gift wrapping at Myer Indooroopilly to raise funds for The Lady Musgrave Trust.

Thanks to a wonderful group of students, parents and teacher volunteers, Christmas shoppers who buy items at Myer Indooroopilly can have their gifts wrapped for them, on the spot.

All money raised will go towards helping The Lady Musgrave Trust to continue delivering essential services for young homeless women in need.

The 2018 Myer Charity Christmas Wrapping kicks off today, Friday December 7th, until Christmas Eve, with daily gift wrapping from 10.00am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4.00pm – including weekends.

“St Peters Lutheran College, through our Community Hub, are delighted to assist The Lady Musgrave Trust with their Christmas wrapping fundraiser,” says Deputy Head of College Lisa Delaney.

“The wonderful work done by the Trust reflects the College’s values of Care, Dignity and Respect.

“Our community has rallied behind this initiative and we are looking forward to a very successful fundraising venture and to continuing our partnership with the Trust.”

The Lady Musgrave Trust is honoured to have the support of both the school and Myer Indooroopilly over the festive season – which can often be a difficult period for those families in need.

The Lady Musgrave Trust has a long-running connection with Myer Indooroopilly, who have been raising funds through the Myer Community Fund for two years now through regular staff morning teas and who offered the Trust this opportunity for Christmas wrapping.

On the 13th December they will also be hosting a morning tea with the Myer Indooroopilly staff and The Lady Musgrave Trust board members, to celebrate their very generous, recent donation of $25,000.

This will contribute to the cost of accommodation for women and children across Queensland.

The Trust relies on the support of the community to assist women and children in need and deliver such essential services. We are truly grateful for the ongoing support from Myer Indooroopilly to help us make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.

While Christmas is often seen as the happiest time of year, it is also hard for many families. Let’s remember that and support families in need.

Thanks to…

St Peters Myer