Living on the streets: Mandurah a city of 'desperation and vulnerability'

IT’S a different world in Mandurah when the sun goes down, one of “desperation and vulnerability” according to 91-year-old night carer Reginald Lambert.

Mr Lambert and his team of three walk the streets at midnight every Wednesday and Friday offering a blanket, warm coffee and food to the homeless.

With teenagers as young as 14 sleeping in playgrounds and in bins Mr Lambert said the homeless problem was only getting worse and the City was in desperate need of a solution.  

Mr Lambert said he had invited local government representatives and service providers from the Peel region to attend a meeting at Waratah Christian Community Church on January 31 to highlight the issue.

At 91 Mr Lambert said his time was limited and he needed help to keep the work he had done as a street carer going. 

“They are everywhere, competing with rats for food in the bins,” he said.

“Most of these people are intelligent and had some sort of profession at one stage, they want to get better.”

He said the services available to homeless people were doing a good job but they were overwhelmed.

“We need to do our best to help these people,” Mr Lambert said.  

Passages Resource Centre provides information, referrals and support to homeless people in Mandurah between 12 to 25 years old.

During 2014 to 2015 the centre had more than 1800 homeless youths access its services with 291 presenting for the first time.

Funded through donations from the community and St Vincent de Paul Society the centre averages roughly 20 young people a day.

A spokesperson for the centre Joanne Hill said capacity could often be reached on a daily basis, however like any service numbers fluctuate.

“There are limited youth services in the area but high numbers of young people who are homeless, or at risk of being homeless,” she said.

“This can be due to domestic violence and family break up, mental health issues, drug and alcohol use, unemployment.”

In February 2012 Ms Hill said a great deal of research into the homelessness issue in the region was carried out and Passages Resource Centre Peel was officially opened as a result.

For more information about the meeting on January 31 call 9582 9552.

To make a donation to Passages go to passagesresourcecentre.com

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