Peter Sandeman: Homelessness in SA needs a new approach

IT is clear that the current approach to homelessness isn’t working. The number of people sleeping rough in our city continues to grow.

We’ve seen a 44 per cent increase in the past year alone.

Too often we make the mistake of thinking that homelessness requires a crisis response, that it is always a short-term problem caused by a specific incident.

Unfortunately, for many people homelessness is a chronic condition that isn’t simply about finding a bed for the night. We know that drugs, alcohol, domestic violence and mental health issues go hand-in-hand with homelessness.

Mental health, drugs and alcohol, domestic violence and housing services should work together to enable each person to move out of chronic homelessness.

Sometimes chronic homeless people are labelled ‘service resistant’. International experience shows us that homeless people are not resistant to services. The problem is the services on offer are not what are needed. No one really wants to sleep rough in winter.

Click here to read more