Magnolia Place breaks down stereotypes around homelessness

AWARENESS: Marg and Tess [last names withheld] at the Magnolia Place stall on Thursday. Picture: Neil Richardson
AWARENESS: Marg and Tess [last names withheld] at the Magnolia Place stall on Thursday. Picture: Neil Richardson

Homelessness Week is a particularly poignant time for the crew at Magnolia Place.

The women’s and children’s shelter provide housing and assistance to people 365 days a year, however it still sees the national week as a chance to raise awareness for the plight of those sleeping rough. 

The shelter held a stall on Thursday at Prospect Vale Marketplace to let people know about some of the work it does.

At one display, answers to the question, ‘how does homelessness make you feel?’ from women staying at the shelter were displayed. 

Some of the answers included ‘embarrassed’, ‘vulnerable’ and ‘insecure, anxious, no sense of belonging and an emotional train wreck – children feel the same’.

“That really made me feel so emotional,” Magnolia Place manager Jenny [name withheld] said. 

“We don’t ask those sort of questions and it’s horrible.

“No one should feel like that, not in this country.”

Magnolia Place has 14 accommodation units for women and children who are sleeping rough, however it still has to turn back people “all the time”, according to Jenny. 

The shelter works in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Service’s Housing Connect program to ensure those turned back can find short-term accommodation.

Jenny said there were many misconceptions about the causes of homelessness in Launceston.

“Most rents now are totally unaffordable and the biggest reason [for homelessness at Magnolia Place] is from partner violence,” she said.