Kylie* and her two children have been living out of emergency accommodation – a motel room in metro Adelaide – for more than four months.
As we enter Homelessness Week on August 1, our case workers, like Ally (pictured), are supporting more than 150 parents and children in emergency accommodation across metropolitan Adelaide.
Right now, more than 6,000 people experience homelessness each night in our state, and more than 30,000 people are on the state’s social housing waiting list.
By the end of this year, we are expecting to help 3000 South Australians who are homeless or at risk of homelessness through our services.
“I definitely didn’t expect to be in a hotel room for this long,” says Kylie.
Kylie has been couch-surfing with family from July last year following a relationship breakdown which left her homeless and unable to secure a rental property in Adelaide’s tight market.
In March, she and her two daughters had to find another place to stay and just couldn’t. Facing rough sleeping with her children, Kylie sought last resort, crisis accommodation in a motel through the state’s homeless support line.
She’s been cooking with a microwave, kettle and toaster in a room that has not much else than a double bed and two single beds. There is nowhere for the kids to play indoors, let alone outdoors. They are in this room together 24/7.
“It’s not nice. We don’t have any personal space. It’s depressing – there’s nothing we can afford (rental), or it’s snapped up very quickly and I have a good rental history and still I, have no luck”
Kylie has a fixed income and can spend $330 a week on rent. She says that leaves her about $25 after bills and groceries.
“I’ve applied for about 260 properties actively since March this year alone,” says Kylie.
“I can’t wait to be able to cook good, nutritious food for the kids, and have some space for them to run and play and be kids.”
Families we support are also staying longer in emergency accommodation. In the first half of this year, we had 22 families in emergency accommodation for more than 100 nights (three-four months) compared to three families for all of 2020.
“Across all our homeless services, we are currently experiencing more demand than we have accommodation – this is a state-wide issue that has been exacerbated by Covid and cost-of-living pressures,” said Nancy Penna, Executive General Manager of Community Services.
“Our teams are working harder than ever to help families and individuals get back on their feet through a number of services and supports so they can find a more stable roof over their heads,” she said.
Michelle Gegenhuber, Executive General Manager of Believe Housing Australia, said: “We know stable housing makes everything else possible – employment, education, and better quality of life, health, wellbeing and living longer.”
Homelessness Week (August 1-7) aims to raise awareness of the impact of homelessness on South Australians and the importance of housing as a solution. The theme for Homelessness Week 2022 is: To end homelessness we need a plan.
If you or someone you know needs support, visit our homelessness services HERE.
To find out more about AnglicareSA and Believe Housing Australia’s plan CLICK HERE.
(* Kylie did not want to be identified).