Data reveals shocking rise of homelessness in the Burnett
NEW data has revealed a growing homelessness crisis within regional Queensland, with the electorate of Flynn eighth overall in the state’s total homeless.
The startling statistics released for National Homeless Week from Homelessness Australia’s campaign ‘Everybody’s home’ indicate rural areas, which include the North Burnett, account for large numbers of displaced Australians.
Statistics show more than 800 people are categorised as homeless in the federal electorate of Flynn.
This electorate encompasses five regional councils including the North Burnett, Banana Shire, Gladstone, Central Highlands, Woorabinda, and ports of Bundaberg, Rockhampton, and the South Burnett.
Data reveals the area is in need of 3,100 social houses to accommodate for the growing rate of displacement.
Queensland’s largest demand for social housing is in the federal electorate of Leichhardt in the far north.
The region, which currently ranks in at number five as Australia’s most in-need area for social housing, has 2400 homeless residents and needs an extra 5,300 social homes.
The Monto Neighbourhood Centre (MNC) offers support, guidance and assistance for those who find themselves in troubling times.
Community service co-ordinator Bobby Redgard said a variety of issues can contribute to this rise, which include people couch surfing to stay off the streets.
“Things such as low employment, family breakdowns, and recent arrivals to the region looking for work can find themselves in these situations,” she said.
“Breakdowns with family and friends in particular can leave people out of luck when it comes to accommodation.”
The unprecedented pandemic left numerous backpackers around the Mundubbera area without homes or warm blankets, after employment opportunities fell through.
Mrs Redgard said the MNC find backpackers from varying ages in trouble after employment “ebbs and flows” during picking seasons throughout the years.
“Some backpackers are promised work and get nothing, leaving them in a precarious position,” she said.
“Then you’ve got people who move here for cheap housing, and upon further realisation they release they can’t pay week to week.”
The first step to combat this rise in homelessness is for Queenslanders to ask the appropriate services for help.
“Please ask for help, go to your community services in the region such as the MNC, and we can work from there,” Mrs Redgard said.
“You’re never going to be judged asking for help, because everyone needs a helping hand at some point in their life.”
If you know someone, or are need any type of assistance, please contact the MNC on 4994 2508, or the North Burnett Community Service on 4165 4690.