More needs to be done for homeless and vulnerable people in the Peel region.
Over the last four weeks, the Mandurah Mail has highlighted the complex issue of homelessness in our region by sharing stories of local vulnerable people, interviewing support workers and talking with community leaders.
By learning about the issue and hearing from the people living these struggles each day, we can see how dire the situation is on the streets.
Any one of us could become homeless.
Read More on the issue:
- Opinion: Is there enough being done for Mandurah's homeless?
- 'It just broke my heart': Mandurah homelessness support workers share tragic tales of the job
- Mandurah's homeless telling their stories
- Mandurah mayor urges state government to fund homeless housing relief
- 'We're making blokes well again': Furnissdale charity helps struggling men
It is not something we can sweep under the rug.
Some of the things we discovered were shocking and terribly sad.
Speaking with local homeless people, there was a growing frustration they were being left out of decision-making processes that directly affect them.
Some were vocal about making a community cooperative addressing the issue, with a homeless person appointed as a representative to speak on behalf of their community.
There were a range of residents of different demographics who were homeless in Mandurah and even more reasons why they became homeless.
Some had serious mental health issues, others were teenagers who had been kicked out of home.
Some families had struggled to pay the rent and some individuals had suffered a health issue and were unable to work.
Others were addicted to alcohol or drugs.
Things are bad for some people, but they would be a lot worse without the selfless volunteers and service providers I've met over the last month.
But, homelessness worker Jackie Kernachan said people could wait up to seven years to get a house through the Department of Housing.
What are they supposed to do in the meantime?