The imminent dismantling of tent city in Sydney’s Martin Place has brought sharp focus to the plight of homeless people in Australia. Lanz Priestly, known as the mayor of tent city, is insisting the people currently sleeping in Martin Place cannot just be moved on if there is nowhere for them to go.
He makes a strong point, as did the camp set up in Melbourne’s Flinders Street last month. Homelessness doesn’t disappear just by moving homeless people out of sight. But as Homelessness Australia’s recent data release shows, the truth is that most of Australia’s homelessness problem is exactly that – out of sight.
Only about 6 per cent of homeless people in Australia are sleeping rough; the rest are in temporary accommodation, sleeping in their cars or couchsurfing.
And one of the most shocking trends from the data is the increase in homelessness among older women.
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