Charities aren’t enough. ACT government should take over homelessness services

Homelessness is closer than many of us think. A single stressful event can make a person’s life spiral out of control. A death in the family, a breakdown in relationships or simply losing a job can all quickly lead to homelessness.

Domestic violence is responsible for one-quarter of all homelessness, and is most common on Saturday nights. Yet the ACT government’s outsourced emergency accommodation service, OneLink, only operates Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.

Once your personal situation is unstable, you can’t decide to “be homeless” just a couple of days a week. You can’t time your need for emergency shelter to happen during business hours. The accommodation and food services of community services and charities, which operate a few days or a few hours a week, are manifestly inadequate in providing the security and safety of stable shelter that the rest of us take for granted.

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