A family of five is camping outside in Launceston during winter after being evicted from their Housing Tasmania property.
That sentence should ring alarm bells in anyone who reads it. The Examiner has shared the story of a family of five, two adults and three children, who have set up a camp at Mount Pleasant in Prospect because they do not have a permanent home.
Tasmania's housing crisis has been well-documented and whether you blame the increase of Airbnb, high rent prices or low wages (or lack of jobs) there is no denying it that there are too many people living tough.
It is terrifying to think it but the reality is that we are all only a few hops, skips or leaps away from being homeless ourselves.
It might be that you lose your job, are unable to make your mortgage or rental payments and don't have any family able to take you in. You might miss a loan repayment, or a Centrelink meeting, then your payments and benefits are cut off. It might be an illness that suddenly strikes, making it impossible for you to work. The face of poverty is changing, with an increase in the number of older women above the age of 40 seeking support services and crisis accommodation.
Even one person doing it tough on the streets is one too many, but it is particularly poignant when you realise that children are also affected. The time to place blame for the problems have passed, we should now be looking to solutions to ensure those who are doing it tough to get the support they need.
Housing Minister Roger Jaensch has this week convened an urgent meeting to discuss strategies and actions to support the homeless. He has asked for the support of the business community on this matter and urged hotels and motels to help supply crisis accommodation.
Everyone has their role to play and it's time that solutions need to be acted upon. Talking doesn't do much to solve the problem but finding rooms and beds and houses will.
If you don't have a room consider donating to one of the many winter appeals that run throughout the cooler months. The Examiner is currently running its Winter Relief campaign, which supports four charities deliver crisis services to the disadvantaged.
If you need help contact Beyond Blue via its website or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
HOW TO DONATE TO WINTER RELIEF
If you'd like to donate to The Examiner's Winter Relief Appeal, you can by:
Donate in person, at The Examiner's office in Cimitiere Street or at participating businesses
Electronic funds transfer BSB 035-822, Account 011443537
BPAY biller number 49429, reference 0100 0406190 01443537 0.