THIS YEAR'S GLOBAL HEALTH ISSUE OF FOCUS

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Homelessness

With the current COVID-19 pandemic devastating communities globally, the effects of homelessness  are magnified in individuals experiencing great disadvantage. Homelessness is a continuing global health issue and it is dire times like these that vulnerabilities in our system show. Government and community efforts have come together to ameliorate this issue, especially during the pandemic. However, is enough being done to tackle homelessness and will these efforts cement even in a post-pandemic world?

Walking

How can we approach this issue and contribute to raising awareness in a post-pandemic world?

Homelessness can take many forms. It is not just those we see on the streets, nor those who experienced the harsh realities of a life without a home. Homelessness is beyond just the lack of a shelter and can affect individuals from a variety of backgrounds and ages

According to the Australian Bureau of statistics (ABS, 2012), an individual may be considered as homeless if they:

  • Live under an inadequate shelter

  • According to the Australian Bureau of statistics (ABS, 2012), an individual may be considered as homeless if they:

  • Live under an inadequate shelter

  • Having no tenure, or if their initial tenure is short and not extendable

  • Are not allowed to access or have control over their residing space for social relations

  • dequate shelter

  • Having no tenure, or if their initial tenure is short and not extendable

  • Are not allowed to access or have control over their residing space for social relations

For example, any of the following individuals can be classified as homeless:

  • One who sleeps in the car everyday

  • One who crashes at friends’ places but doesn’t have long lasting residency in any area

  • One who sleeps in public or on public transport

Homelessness can be one of the most isolating experiences, which is why it's so synonymous with loneliness.

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So why is homelessness such a critical social problem?

Well, at the moment:

Anyone can experience homelessness, regardless of age or background

There is a rapid rise in those aged 55 and over experiencing homelessness

Many more individuals are at risk of becoming homeless due to various factors, even if they aren’t currently homeless yet

According to ABS, there were a total of 116,000 Australians who were classified as homeless in 2016. Of course, there exists the possibility of more unaccounted individuals, especially with greater numbers within the Australian population.

Therefore, homelessness is a crucial issue to reflect upon and think about. 

Helping Hands

Through our 4 Step Action Plan, we aim to provide students with educational and volunteering opportunities aimed to advocate for and tackle the issue of homelessness.

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Given the current situation, MUGHS’ first event will be a panel discussion (held online via Zoom) involving presenters from three local organisations whose work focuses on various aspects of homelessness.