People should live in houses

05 Nov 2008

By therecord

Academics and students help raise awareness and speak out on why homelessness isn’t good enough                                             

Speaking out: Students from the University of Notre Dame sleep out rough on the streets of Fremantle to make the point that for many people this is the only sort of place they have to call home.

Students from the University of Notre Dame got involved with Anti-Poverty Week which was held from October 13-17 this year. The national initiative was established in Australia as an expansion of the United Nations annual International Anti-Poverty Day on October 17.
Social Justice students from Notre Dame’s Fremantle Campus hosted a variety of activities including a group ‘sleep out’. Students spent four nights ‘sleeping rough’ to help raise awareness for staff, students and local community members.
During the week local businesses such as the Freo Street Doctor, Mobile Health Clinic; St Pat’s Gimme Shelter; Edmund Rice Centre; The Big Issue and the Australian Red Cross promoted their work to students. These businesses help to provide services to the homeless in and around Fremantle
The University’s Dean of Medicine, Professor Gavin Frost, also gave a presentation on ‘The Economics of Homelessness.’
Professor Frost’s talk came as part of the University’s Conversations on Tap series which is held four times a year.
The series raises awareness of various social justice issues, and others have lent a hand. In addition to Prof. Frost, Mr Wyn Williams, the Chief Executive Officer of the June O’Connor Centre, and School of Business Adjunct Professor for Not-For-Profit Leadership and Management, Professor David Gilchrist, also pspoke.
Professor Gilchrist addressed homelessness versus affordable housing, covering issues such as rising rents, the need for emergency and crisis accommodation, mental health and access available for mental health and how this affects pensioners, youth, aged, unemployed people and people released from prison.