The Barwon South West Homelessness Network (the Network) is a Network of agencies in the Barwon and South West region who work collaboratively for the achievement of an integrated system providing support and accommodation to people experiencing or at risk of Homelessness in our region.
Barwon South West Homelessness Network
The Network provides opportunities for agencies, Housing, Support services and
the broader community to address and resolve issues of Homelessness and its
prevention in the Region.
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A Growing Issue
In 2011 the Australian Bureau of Statistics undertook a specialist homelessness count, which included our region. The total number of people counted as being homeless during the count was 924.
In the Barwon South West Region the number of males seeking assistance was 46% and females 54%
2018-2019 AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing)
In December 2019, there were;
males seeking housing assistance
females seeking housing assistance
affordable properties available across the region
households waiting for social housing
A Place to Call Home
Young resident Audrey* says that prior to living at Brophy Family and Youth Service’s Foyer Warrnambool campus she had experienced homelessness in various forms.
“I’ve done the couch surfing. Staying until I have outgrown my welcome; feeling like you are imposing.”
“I felt helpless and isolated, in a constant state of dread waiting for the tap on the shoulder telling me it’s time to move on.”
“I slept in my car for three nights at one stage. Not only are you at risk of physical and emotional harm, you are in a constant state of anxiety.”
Since moving into Foyer Warrnambool in February Audrey has returned to education and completed her Certificate 1 in Developing Independence at SWTAFE. She also holds down casual employment. As a motivated young person she has developed a leadership role and brings a positive influence in the communal culture.
Audrey describes what ‘home’ means to her.
“For me a home is a place you identify as your own. The Foyer has supported me by providing me with a safe and comfortable place to live.”
“So yeah, I would call the Foyer my home”.
*named changed to protect identity