I spoke in parliament today about Homeless Connect Day.
Homeless Connect Day, 9 August 2012
On 9 August it was my pleasure to attend Homeless Connect Day at Pilgrim House on Northbourne Avenue. Homeless Connect Day is a one-day event for homeless people, or those at risk of homelessness, to access services, support and essentials. On the day there was a range of services available to people who were homeless or at risk of homelessness: free food, clothing, haircuts, massage, personal care packs, health advice and even entertainment. I was grateful to see the folks from Canberra FM there as well, drawing public attention to one of the real challenges that Australia faces.
In Australia it is estimated that over 100,000 people are homeless on any given night. In Canberra alone that is estimated to be around 1,300 people. Homeless Connect allowed those people who were homeless to recognise that they were not alone in their plight. The theme of Homeless Persons Week is 'Homing in on the real issues of homelessness', and I pay tribute to those who were there—social workers, community sector workers, people providing entertainment and health care services—assisting on one of Australia's challenges. I pay tribute to Minister Macklin who is here in the chamber for her hard work along with the team in reducing the rate of homelessness in Australia.
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