The Illawarra’s IRT Foundation is asking for the community’s support to help older people who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless.
Homelessness Week runs from August 7 to August 13.
IRT Foundation manager Toby Dawson said older women are the fastest growing cohort of homeless people in Australia.
“On any given night there’s over 15,000 people over the age of 55 sleeping rough in Australia, including 2000 over the age of 75,” he said.
“That’s 300 busloads of Aussie seniors with nowhere to call home, and the research says that 64 per cent of them will die within five years.
“This statistic is truly shocking, but government support for homelessness is primarily targeted at young people and families.
“IRT Foundation is working to address this gap by helping disadvantaged older people access housing, support services and opportunities for social and civic participation.”
In 2016/17 the foundation helped 90 clients via its Assistance with Care and Housing Program, mostly older women who were sleeping rough.
“Older women are particularly vulnerable to becoming homeless because a lifetime of caring for others may leave them with little to no super,” Mr Dawson said.
Mr Dawson said this National Homelessness Week they were calling on the public to participate in their Neverland Ball Fundraising Campaign.
The ball is on at UOW’s University Hall on September 1.
More details here.