Every year when The Examiner launches its Winter Relief Appeal we have mixed feelings.
We know the community will get behind the appeal and will give what they can to support those people doing it tough.
On the flip side, it is a sobering thought to realise the relevance and need for The Examiner appeal has not wavered in 61 years.
The circumstances and demographics may change, but the need for support is as strong as ever.
The public has read stories of families doing it tough. There is the family who has called a shipping container home for four years and counting. But since our story, which was published to highlight the poor housing situation, they may have to give up the only housing they have.
You would have read about the Southern man who took Housing Tasmania to court after being unfairly evicted, and he won. The reasons why a good tenant would be evicted cannot be explained. However, moving him out and back on the waiting list would bring someone off the waiting list. Is it all about numbers?
Recently The Examiner highlighted a family who was raising their children in tents. The family was very frank with their past issues and behaviours, but the questioned remained: should tents be the only option for children?
There is a myriad of reasons people experience homelessness.
In recent years services have witnessed an increase in middle-aged women seeking support.
These are women who have no financial security, often no superannuation, and are fleeing domestic violence.
Family violence, mental ill-health, addiction and unemployment are all linked to homelessness.
Not everyone is also seeking help, and they may even refuse assistance if offered. This is OK too.
We need to get to a position where, when people seek help, there are housing stock and services available to assist.
While the Winter Relief Appeal cannot solve the issues of homelessness, it can help services to provide emergency relief as well as continue the long-term programs to help people overcome the issues that lead to seeking relief.
How to donate to the Winter Relief Appeal:
- 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 number 0100 0406190 01443537 0