On any given night in Australia, 1 in 200 people will be homeless. This alarming statistic is most palpable in Sydney, being Australia’s most expensive city and the world’s third least affordable city to buy or rent a home.
Despite this, Sydney’s population continues to surge year after year. Approximately 60,000 people move to Sydney each year, and with a massive shortfall in housing supply, living in Sydney is becoming increasingly unaffordable for many people.
Bondi-based charity Jewish House is a community support organisation and is addressing housing instability and homelessness in Sydney. Their goal is to assist 2500 people over the next 3 years with securing a stable housing situation.
Jewish House offers accommodation for up to two weeks to people seeking short term refuge from violent relationships, financial distress or other circumstances that place them in a situation where they are without a home.
They also provide temporary housing beyond the crisis period within a ‘Rapid Rehousing’ programme, which is an alternative to a system of emergency shelter/transitional housing progressions and aims to move homeless individual or households immediately from the streets or homeless shelters into their own apartment. This approach recognises stable housing as the most pressing need of the homeless, and during this period other issues can be addressed with support services geared to help people achieve housing stability, which may also include psychology and psychiatry and family, financial or other counselling.
“We break the cycle by rapidly providing accommodation, assistance with job applications and other services allowing the clients to re-integrate with society, rather than being isolated. By ramping up these services around those at risk, we can help them and their families”, says Rabbi Kastel, head of Jewish House.
The longer people are without assistance, says the Rabbi, the greater the likelihood of chronic illness and poverty.
Jewish House has a number of proud sponsors, including corporate sponsors Global IT, PWC, Warlows Legal, The Sydney Clinic, Sofitel and Coles. However, if you’d like to get involved, Rabbi Kastel says there are many ways to help.
“We always need donations because we want to help as many people as possible. We are grateful for people to offer their time – some of our elderly clients just need some company. We have a list of volunteers that we call on for different purposes at different times of the year”.
To find out more about Jewish House and how you can help, please visit the Jewish House website or give them a call on (02) 9386 0770.